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(Paris omnia pura) 

Arab Proverb. 

"Niuna corrotta mente intese mai sanamente parole." 

"Decameron " conclusion. 

' Erubuit, posuitque raeura Lucretia librum 

Sed coram Bruto. Brute I recede, ieget. " 


" Mieulx est de ris que de larmes escripre, 

Pour ce que rire est le propre des hommes." 


"The pleasure we derive from perusing the Thousand-and-Ooa 
Stories makes us regret that we possess only a comparatively small 
part of these truly enchanting fictions. " 

CRICHTON'S "History of. Arabia*, 




atiH ar 





Shammar Edition 

Limited to one thousand numbered sets, 
of which this is 

Number < 


WAY l 2 















(Lane, II. 52-59. The Fable of the Peacock and Peahen, the Duck, the 
Young Lion, the Ass, the Horse, the Camel, and the Carpenter, etc.) 



4. THE WOLF AND THE FOX . . . ' * * '3* 

(Lane, II. 59-69. The Fable of the Fox and the Wolf.) 



6. THE CAT AND THE CROW . . . * * . . 149 

viii Contents. 

7. THE FOX AND THE CROW ........ 150 

a. THE FLEA AND THE MOUSE ........ 151 

b. THE SAKER AND THE BIRDS ........ 154 

c. THE SPARROW AND THE EAGLE ........ 155 


9. THE THIEF AND HIS MONKEY ....... 159 

THE FOOLISH WEAVER ......... #. 



(Lane, Vol. If. , Chapt. ix. Story of Alee the Son of Bakkar, 
and Shams en-Nahdr, p. I.) 


(Lane, Chapt. x. Story of the Prince Kamar ez-Zeman and 

the Princess Budur, p. 78 and ibid. p. 149. 
Story of the Two Princes El-Amjad and El-As'ad, p. 

The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night. 

fo&en Ct foas tfje f^unteb anb STfocnt^Kftf) Nijjfit, 

SHAHRAZAD continued, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that 
Aziz pursued to Taj al-Muluk : Then I entered the flower-garden 
and made for the pavilion, where I found the daughter of Dalilah, 
the Wily One, sitting with head on knee and hand to cheek. Her 
colour was changed and her eyes were sunken ; but, when she saw 
me, she exclaimed, " Praised be Allah for thy safety ! " And she 
was minded to rise but fell down for joy. I was abashed before 
her and hung my head ; presently, however, I went up to her and 
kissed her and asked, " How knewest thou that I should come to 
thee this very night ? " She answered, " I knew it not ! By Allah, 
this whole year past I have not tasted the taste of sleep, but have 
watched through every night, expecting thee ; and such hath been 
my case since the day thou wentest out from me and I gave thee 
the new suit of clothes, and thou promisedst me to go to the 
Hammam and to come back ! So I sat awaiting thee that night and 
a second night and a third night ; but thou earnest not till after 
so great delay, and I ever expecting thy coming ; for this is lovers' 
way. And now I would have thee tell me what hath been the 
cause of thine absence from me the past year long ? " So I told 
her. And when she knew that I \vas married, her colour waxed 
yellow, and I added, " I have come to thee this night but I must 
leave thee before day." Quoth she, " Doth it not suffice her that 
she tricked thee into marrying her and kept thee prisoner with her 
a whole year, but she must also make thee swear by the oath of 
divorce, that thou wilt return to her on the same night before 
morning, and not alfow thee to divert thyself with thy mother or 
me, nor suffer thee to pass one night with either of us, away from 
her ? How then must it be with one from whom thou hast been 
absent a full year, and I knew thee before she did ? But Allah 
have mercy on thy cousin Azizah, for there befel her what never 
befel any and she bore what none other ever bore and she died by 
thy ill-usage ; yet 'twas she who protected thee against me. Indeed, 
I thought thou didst love me, so I let thee take thine own way ; 
else had I not suffered thee to go safe in a sound skin, when I had 
it in my power to clap thee in jail and even to slay thee." Thea 
she wept with sore weeping and waxed wroth and shuddered in 
VOL. in. A 

2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

my face with skin bristling 1 and looked at me with furious eyes. 
When I saw her in this case I was terrified at her and my side- 
muscles trembled and quivered, for she was like a dreadful she- 
Ghul, an ogress in ire, and I like a bean over the fire. Then said 
she, " Thou art of no use to me, now thou art married and hast a 
child ; nor art thou any longer fit for my company ; I care only 
for bachelors and not for married men : 2 these profit us nothing. 
Thou hast sold me for yonder stinking armful ; but, by Allah, I 
will make the whore's heart ache for thee, and thou shalt not live 
either for me or for her ! " Then she cried a loud cry and, ere I 
could think, up came the slave-girls and threw me on the ground ; 
and when I was helpless under their hands she rose and, taking a 
knife, said, " I will cut thy throat as they slaughter he-goats ; and 
that will be less than thy desert, for thy doings to me and the 
daughter of thy uncle before me." When I looked to my life and 
found myself at the mercy of her slave-women, with my cheeks 
dust-soiled, and saw her sharpen the knife, I made sure of death " 
- - And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to sa/ 
her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&m it foas tje f^unfcrrtr an& Cfoentg^fxtJ Nfgftt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazif 
Dandan thus continued his tale to Zau al-Makan : Then quoth 
the youth Aziz to Taj al-Muluk, Now when I found my life at the 
mercy of her slave-women with my cheeks dust-soiled, and I saw 
her sharpen the knife, I made sure of death and cried out to her 
for mercy. But she only redoubled in ferocity and ordered the 
slave-girls to pinion my hands behind me, which they did ; and, 
throwing me on my back, she seated herself on my middle and 
held down my head. Then two of them came up and squatted 
on my shin-bones, whilst other two grasped my hands and arms ; 
and she summoned a third pair and bade them beat me. So they 
beat me till I fainted and my voice failed. When I revived, I said 
to myself, " 'Twere easier and better for me to have my gullet slit 
than to be beaten on this wise ! " And I remembered the words 
of my cousin, and how she used to say to me, " Allah, keep thee 

* This "horripilation," for which we have the poetical term **gooseflfish>" is often 
mentioned in Hindu as in Arab literature. 

* How often we have heard this in England I 

Tale of Aziz and Azizah. 3 

from her mischief! " ; and I shrieked and wept till my voice 
failed and I remained without power to breathe or to move. Then 
she again whetted the knife and said to the slave-girls, " Uncover 
him/* Upon this the Lord inspired me to repeat to her the two 
phrases my cousin had taught me, and had bequeathed to me, and 
I said, " O my lady, dost thou not know that Faith is fair, Unfaith 
is foul?" When she heard this, she cried out and said, " Allah pity 
thee, Azizah, and give thee Paradise in exchange for thy wasted 
youth ! By Allah, of a truth she served thee in her life-time and 
after her death, and now she hath saved thee alive out of my 
hands with these two saws. Nevertheless, I cannot by any means 
leave thee thus, but needs must I set my mark on thee, to spite 
yonder brazen-faced piece, who hath kept thee from me. There- 
upon she called out to the slave-women and bade them bind my 
feet with cords and then said to them, " Take seat on him ! " They 
did her bidding, upon which she arose and fetched a pan of copper 
and hung it over the brazier and poured into it oil of sesame, in 
which she fried cheese. 1 Then she came up to me (and I still 
insensible) and, unfastening my bag-trousers, tied a cord round my 
testicles and, giving it to two of her women, bade them hawl at 
it. They did so, and I swooned away and was for excess of pair> 
in a world other than this. Then she came with a razor of steel 
and cut off my member masculine, 2 so that I remained like a* 
woman : after which she seared the wound with the boiling oil 
and rubbed it with a powder, and I the while unconscious. Now 
when I came to myself, the blood had stopped ; so she bade the 
slave-girls unbind me and made me drink a cup of wine. Then 
said she to me, " Go now to her whom thou hast married and who 
grudged me a single night, and the mercy of Allah be on thy 
cousin Azizah, who saved thy life and never told her secret love J 
Indeed, haddest thou not repeated those words to me, I had surely 
slit thy weasand. Go forth this instant to whom thou wilt, for I 

1 As a styptic. The scene in the text has often been enacted in Egypt when a 
favourite feminine mode of murdering men is by beating and bruising the testicles. 
The Fellahs are exceedingly clever in inventing methods of manslaughter. For some 
years bodies were found that bore no outer mark of violence, and only Prankish 
inquisitiveness discovered that the barrel of a pistol had been passed up the anus and 
the weapon discharged internally. Murders of this description are known in English 
history ; but never became popular practice. 

2 Arab. "Zakar," that which betokens masculinity. At the end of the tale we learn 
that she also gelded him ; thus he was a " Sandali," a rast, 

4 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

needed naught of thee save what I have just cut off; and now I 
have no part in thee, nor have I any further want of thee or care 
for thee. So begone about thy business and rub thy head 1 and 
implore mercy for the daughter of thine uncle!" Thereupon she 
kicked me with her foot and I rose, hardly able to walk ; and I 
went, little by little, till I came to the door of our house. I saw it 
was open, so I threw myself within it and fell down in a fainting- 
fit ; whereupon my wife came out and lifting me up, carried me 
into the saloon and assured herself that I had become like a 
woman. Then I fell into a sleep and a deep sleep ; and when I 

awoke, I found myself thrown down at the garden gate, And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per- 
mitted say. 

Hofo fo&cn (t foas tlje ^un&reto an& tEfoentg^ebentJ Ni<$t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
Dandan pursued to King Zau al-Makan, The youth Aziz thus 
continued his story to Taj al-Muluk : When I awoke and found 
myself thrown down at the garden-gate, I rose, groaning for pain 
and misery, and made my way to our home and entering, I came 
upon my mother weeping for me, and saying, " Would I knew, O 
my son, in what land art thou ! " So I drew near and threw 
myself upon her, and when she looked at me and felt me, she 
knew that I was ill ; for my face was coloured black and tan. 
Then I thought of my cousin and all the kind offices she had 
been wont to do me, and I learned when too late that she had 
truly loved me ; so I wept for her and my mother wept also. 
Presently she said to me, " O my son, thy sire is dead." At this 
my fury against Fate redoubled, and I cried till I fell into a fit. 
When I came to myself, I looked at the place where my cousin 
Azizah had been used to sit and shed tears anew, till I all but 
fainted once more for excess of weeping ; and I ceased not to cry 
and sob and wail till midnight, when my mother said to me, "Thy 
father hath been dead these ten days." "I shall never think of 
any one but my cousin Azizah," replied I ; "and indeed I deserve 
all that hath befallen me, for that I neglected her who loved me 
with love so dear." Asked she, "What hath befallen thee?" So 

} See vol. i. p. 104. 

Tale of Aziz and Azlzah. $ 

'I told her all that had happened and she wept awhile, then she 
rose and set some matter of meat and drink before me. I ate a 
little and drank, after which I repeated my story to her, and told 
her the whole occurrence ; whereupon she exclaimed, " Praised be 
Allah, that she did but this to thee and forbore to slaughter 
thee ! " Then she nursed me and medicined me till I regained 
my health ; and, when my recovery was complete, she said to me, 
" O my son, I will now bring out to thee that which thy cousin 
committed to me in trust for thee ; for it is thine. She swore me 
not to give it thee, till I should see thee recalling her to mind and 
weeping over her and thy connection severed from other than 
herself; and now I know that these conditions are fulfilled in 
thee." So she arose, and opening a chest, took out this piece of 
linen, with the figures of gazelles worked thereon, which I had 
given to Azizah in time past ; and taking it I found written 
therein these couplets : 

Lady of beauty, say, who taught thee hard and harsh design, o To slay with 

longing Love's excess this hapless lover thine ? 
An thou fain disremember me beyond our parting day, o Allah will know, that 

thee and thee my memory never shall tyne. 
Thou blamest me with bitter speech yet sweetest 'tis to me ; o Wilt generous be 

and deign one day to show of love a sign ? 
I had not reckoned Love contained so much of pine and pain ; o And soul 

distress until I came for thee to pain and pine ; 
Never my heart knew weariness, until that eve I fell o In love wi' thee, and 

prostrate fell before those glancing eyne ! 
My very foes have mercy on my case and moan therefor ; o But thou, O heart 

of Indian steel, all mercy dost decline. 
No, never will I be consoled, by Allah, an I die, o Nor yet forget the love of 

thee though life in ruins lie ! 

When I read these couplets, I wept with sore weeping and buffeted 
my face ; then I unfolded the scroll, and there fell from it another 
paper. I opened it and behold, I found written therein, " Know, O 
son of rny uncle, that I acquit thee of my blood and I beseech 
Allah to make accord between thee and her whom thou lovest ; 
but if aught befal thee through the daughter of Dalilah the Wily, 
return thou not to her neither resort to any other woman and 
patiently bear thine affliction, for were not thy fated life-tide a 
long life, thou hadst perished long ago ; but praised be Allah who 
hath appointed my death-day before thine ! My peace be upon 
thee ; preserve this cloth with the gazelles herein figured and let 
it not leave thee, for it was my companion when thou was absent 

6 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

from me ; " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

J^ofo fofjnt it foas tje J^tmtoefc antr 3Tto0nts=et($ti) Mi$fl> 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
Dandan pursued to King Zau al-Makan, And the youth Aziz 
continued to Taj al-Muluk : So I read what my cousin had written* 
and the charge to me which was, " Preserve this cloth with the' 
gazelles and let it not leave thee, for it was my companion when' 
thou wast absent from me and, Allah upon thee ! if thou chance to 
fall in with her who worked these gazelles, hold aloof from her and 
do not let her approach thee nor marry her ; and if thou happen 
not on her and find no way to her, look thou consort not with any 
of her sex. Know that she who wrought these gazelles worketh 
every year a gazelle-cloth and despatcheth it to far countries, that 
her report and the beauty of her broidery, which none in the world 
can match, may be bruited abroad. As for thy beloved, the 
daughter of Dalilah the Wily, this cloth came to her hand, and she 
used to ensnare folk with it, showing it to them and saying, I have 
a sister who wrought this. But she lied in so saying, Allah rend 
her veil! This is my parting counsel; and I have not charged 
thee with this charge, but because I know * that after my death the 
world will be straitened on thee and, haply, by reason of this, thou 
wilt leave thy native land and wander in foreign parts, and hearing 
of her who wrought these figures, thou mayest be minded to fore- 
gather with her. Then wilt thou remember me, when the memory 
shall not avail thee ; nor wilt thou know my worth till after my 
death. And, lastly, learn that she who wrought the gazelles is 
the daughter of the King of the Camphor Islands and a lady of 
the noblest." Now when I had read that scroll and understood 
what was written therein, I fell again to weeping, and my mother 
wept because I wept, and I ceased not to gaze upon it and to shed 
tears till night-fall. I abode in this condition a whole year, at the 
end of which the merchants, with whom I am in this cafilah, 
prepared to set out from my native town ; and my mother coun- 
selled me to equip myself and journey with them, so haply I might 
be consoled and my sorrow be dispelled, saying, " Take comfort 
and put away from thee this mourning and travel for a year or two 

1 The purity and intensity of her love had attained to a something of prophetic strain. 

Tale of Aziz and Azlzak. f 

or three, till the caravan return, when perhaps thy breast may be 
broadened and thy heart heartened." And she ceased not tO| 
persuade me with endearing words, till I provided myself with: 
merchandise and set out with the caravan. But all the time of 
my wayfaring, my tears have never dried ; no, never ! and at every 
halting place where we halt, I open this piece of linen and look on 
these gazelles and call to mind my cousin Azizah and weep for 
her as thou hast seen ; for indeed she loved me with dearest love 
and died, oppressed by my unlove. I did her nought but ill and 
she did me nought but good. When these merchants return from 
their journey, I shall return with them, by which time I shall have 
been absent a whole year : yet hath my sorrow waxed greater and 
my grief and affliction were but increased by my visit to the Islands 
of Camphor and the Castle of Crystal. Now these islands are 
seven in number and are ruled by a King, by name Shahriman, 1 , 
who hath a daughter called Dunyd ; 2 and I was told that it was 
she who wrought these gazelles and that this piece in my possession 
was of her embroidery. When I knew this, my yearning redoubled 
and I burnt with the slow fire of pining and was drowned in the 
sea of sad thought ; and I wept over myself for that I was become 
even as a woman, without manly tool like other men, and there 
was no help for it. From the day of my quitting the Camphor 
Islands, I have been tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted, and such 
hath been my case for a long while and I know not whether it 
will be given me to return to my native land and die beside my 
mother or not ; for I am sick from eating too much of the world. 
Thereupon the young merchant wept and groaned and complained 
and gazed upon the gazelles ; whilst the tears rolled down his 
cheeks in streams and he repeated these two couplets : 

"Joy needs shall come," a prattler 'gan to prattle : o " Needs cease thy blame !" 

I was commoved to rattle : 
" In time," quoth he: quoth I "'Tis marvellous ! o Who shall ensure my life, 

O cold of tattle!" 3 

1 Lane corrupts this Persian name to Shah Zeman (i. 568). 
8 i.*., the world, which includes the ideas of Fate, Time, Chance. 
, 3 Arab. " Bdrid," silly, noyous, contemptible ; as in the proverb 

Two things than ice are colder cold : 

An old man young, a young man old. 

A " cold-of-countenance " = a fool : '< May Allah make cold thy face 1 " = may it show 
want and misery. " By Allah, a cold speech ! " = a silly or abusive tirade (Pilgrimage, J 

iU 22).j 

8 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

And he repeated also these : 

Well Allah weets that since our severance-day o I've wept till forced 

to ask of tears a loan : 
" Patience ! (the blamer cries) : thou'lt have her yet ! " o Quoth I, " O blamer 

where may patience wone ? " 

Then said he, " This, O King ! is my tale : hast thou ever heard 
one stranger?" So Taj al-Muluk marvelled with great marvel at 
the young merchant's story, and fire darted into his entrails on 
hearing the name of the Lady Dunya and her loveliness. -- And 
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say, 

Noto foben ft foas tjj* pjuntortj an* tltoent^nutt!) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan : Now when Taj al-Muluk 
heard the story of the young merchant, he marvelled with great 
marvel and fire darted into his entrails on hearing the name of the 
Lady Dunya who, as he knew, had embroidered the gazelles ; and 
his love and longing hourly grew, so he said to the youth, u By 
Allah, that hath befallen thee whose like never befel any save 
thyself, but thou hast a life-term appointed, which thou must 
fulfil ; and now I would fain ask of thee a question." Quoth 
Aziz, " And what is it ? " Quoth he, " Wilt thou tell me how thou 
sawest the young lady who wrought these gazelles ? " Then he, 
" O my lord, I got me access to her by a sleight and it was this. 
When I entered her city with the caravan, I went forth and 
wandered about the garths till I came to a flower-garden 
abounding in trees, whose keeper was a venerable old man, a 
Shaykh stricken in years. I addressed him, saying, O ancient 
sir, whose may be this garden ? and he replied, It belongs to the 
King's daughter, the Lady Dunya, We are now beneath her 
palace and, when she is minded to amuse herself, she openeth the 
private wicket and walketh in the garden and smelleth the fra- 
grance of the flowers. So I said to him, Favour me by allowing 
me to sit in this garden till she come; haply I may enjoy a sight of 
her as she passeth. The Shaykh answered, There can be no harm 
in that* Thereupon I gave him a dirham or so and said to him, 
Buy us something to eat. He took the money gladly and opened 
the door and, entering himself, admitted me into the garden, where 

Tale of Tdj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 9 

we strolled and ceased not strolling till we reached a pleasant 
spot in which he bade me sit down and await his going and 
his returning. Then he brought me somewhat of fruit and, 
leaving me, disappeared for an hour ; but after a while he returned 
to me bringing a roasted lamb, of which we ate till we had eaten 
enough, my heart yearning the while for a sight of the lady. 
Presently, as we sat, the postern opened and the keeper said to 
me, Rise and hide thee. I did so ; and behold, a black eunuch 
put his head out through the garden-wicket and asked, O Shaykh, 
is there any one with thee ? No, answered he ; and the eunuch 
said, Shut the garden gate. So the keeper shut the gate, and lo ! 
the Lady Dunya came in by the private door. When I saw her, 
methought the moon had risen above the horizon and was shining; 
so I looked at her a full hour and longed for her as one athirst 
longeth for water. After a while she withdrew and shut the 
door ; whereupon I left the garden and sought my lodging, knowing 
that I could not get at her and that I was no man for her, more 
especially as I was become like a woman, having no manly tool : 
moreover she was a King's daughter and I but a merchant man ; 
so how could I have access to the like of her or to any other 
woman ? Accordingly, when these my companions made ready 
for the road, I also made preparation and set out with them, 
and we journeyed towards this city till we arrived at the place 
where we met with thee. Thou askedst me and I have 
answered ; and these are' my adventures and peace be with 
thee ! " Now when Taj al-Muluk heard that account, fires 
raged in his bosom and his heart and thought were occupied 
with love for the Lady Dunya ; and passion and longing 
were sore upon him. Then he arose and mounted horse and, 
taking Aziz with him, returned to his father's capital, where he 
settled him in a separate house and supplied him with all he 
needed in the way of meat and drink and dress. Then he left 
him and returned to his palace, with the tears trickling down his 
cheeks, for hearing oftentimes standeth in stead of seeing and 
knowing. 1 And he ceased not to be in this state till his father 
came in to him and finding him wan-faced, lean of limb and 
tearful-eyed, knew that something had occurred to chagrin him 
and said, " O my son, acquaint me with thy case and tell me 
what hath befallen thee, that thy colour is changed and thy body 

1 The popular form is, " often the ear loveth before the eye." 

IO A If Laylah wa Laylah. 


is wasted.*' So he told him all that had passed and what tale h 

had heard of Aziz and the account of the Princess Dunya ; anc 
how he had fallen in love of her on hearsay, without having set 
eyes on her. Quoth his sire, " O my son, she is the daughter of a 
King whose land is far from ours : so put away this thought and 

go in to thy mother's palace " And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en tt foas tfte J^untoU anfc ^trttetf) Nu$t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan : And the father of Taj al- 
Muluk spake to him on this wise, "O my son, her father is a 
King whose land is far from ours : so put away this thought and 
go into thy mother's palace where are five hundred maidens like 
moons, and whichsoever of them pleaseth thee, take her ; or else 
we will seek for thee in marriage some one of the King's daugh- 
ters, fairer than the Lady Dunya." Answered Taj al-Muluk, " O my 
father, I desire none other, for she it is who wrought the gazelles 
which I saw, and there is no help but that I have her ; else I will 
flee into the wold and the waste and I will slay myself for her 
sake." Then said his father, " Have patience with me, till I send 
to her sire and demand her in marriage, and win thee thy wish as 
I did for myself with thy mother. Haply Allah will bring thee to 
thy desire; and, if her parent will not consent, I will make Ms 
kingdom quake under him with an army, whose rear shall be with 
me whilst its van shall be upon him." Then he sent for the youth 
Aziz and asked him, " O my son, tell me dost thou know the way 
to the Camphor Islands?" He answered " Yes"; and the King 
said, " I desire of thee that thou fare with my Wazir thither." 
Replied Aziz, " I hear and I obey, O King of the Age ! " ; where- 
upon the King summoned his Minister and said to him, ' Devise 
me some device, whereby my son's affair may be rightly managed, 
and fare thou forth to the Camphor Islands and demand of their 
King his daughter in marriage for my son, Taj al-Muluk." The 
Wazir replied, " Hearkening and obedience." Then Taj al-Muluk 
returned to his dwelling-place and his love and longing redoubled 
and the delay seemed endless to him ; and when the night darkened 
around him, he wept and sighed and complained and repeated this 
poetry : 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. . 1 1 

Dark falls the night : my tears unaided rail * And fiercest flames of 

love my heart assail : 
Ask thoii the nights of -me, and they shall tell o An I find aught to do 

but weep and wail : 
Night-long awake, I watch the stars what while o Pour down my cheeks 

the tears like dropping hail : 
And lone and lorn I'm grown with none to aid; o For kith and kin th6j 

love-lost lover fail. 

And when he had ended his reciting he swooned away and did not 
recover his senses till the morning, at which time there came to 
him one of his father's eunuchs and, standing at his head, sum- 
moned him to the King's presence. So he went with him and his 
father, seeing that his pallor had increased, exhorted him to 
patience and promised him union with her he loved. Then he 
equipped Aziz and the Wazir and supplied them with presents ; 
and they set out and fared on day and night till they drew near 
the Isles of Camphor, where .they halted on the banks of a stream, 
and the Minister despatched a messenger to acquaint the King of 
his arrival. The messenger hurried forwards and had not been 
gone more than an hour, before they saw the King's Chamberlains 
and Emirs advancing towards them, to meet them at a parasang's 
distance from the city and escort them into the royal presence. 
They laid their gifts before the King and became his guests for 
three days. And on the fourth day the Wazir rose and going in 
to the King, stood between his hands and acquainted him with the 
object which induced his visit ; whereat he was perplexed for an 
answer inasmuch as his daughter misliked men and disliked 
marriage. So he bowed his head groundwards awhile, then raised 
it and calling one of his eunuchs, said to him, " Go to thy mistress, 
the Lady Dunya, and repeat to her what thou hast heard and the 
purport of this Wazir's coming." So the eunuch went forth and 
returning after a time, said to the King, " O King of the Age, 
when I went in to the Lady Dunya and told her what I had heard, 
she was wroth with exceeding wrath and rose at me with a staff 
designing to break my head ; so I fled from her, and she said to 
me : If my Father force me to wed him, whomsoever I wed I will 
slay " Then said her sire to the Wazir and Aziz, " Ye have heard, 
and now ye know all ! So let your King wot of it and give him 
my salutations and say that my daughter misliketh men and dis- 

liketh marriage.' And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

12 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

foj*n it foas tftc 3^unfcrrt> anto 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King 
Shahriman thus addressed the Wazir and Aziz, " Salute your King 
from me and inform him of what ye have heard, namely that my 
daughter misliketh marriage." So they turned away unsuccessful 
and ceased not faring on till they rejoined the King and told him 
what had passed ; whereupon he commanded the chief officers to 
summon the troops and get them ready for marching and canv 
paigning. But the Wazir said to him, " O my liege Lord, do not 
thus : the King is not at fault because, when his daughter learnfr 
our business, she sent a message saying, If my father force me to 
wed, whomsoever I wed I will slay and myself after him. So the 
refusal cometh from her." When the King heard his Minister's 
words he feared for Taj al-Muluk and said, " Verily if I make war 
on the King of the Camphor Islands and carry off his daughter^ 
she will kill herself and it will avail me naught." Then he told 
his son how the case stood, who hearing it said, " O my father, I 
cannot live without her ; so I will go to her and contrive to get at 
her, even though I die in the attempt, and this only will I do and 
nothing else." Asked his father, " How wilt thou go to her ? " 
and he answered, " I will go in the guise of a merchant." 1 Then 
said the King, " If thou need must go and there is no help for it, 
take with thee the Wazir and Aziz." Then he brought out money 
from his treasuries and made ready for his son merchandise to the 
value of an hundred thousand dinars. The two had settled upon 
this action j and when the dark hours came Taj al-Muluk and Aziz 
went to Aziz's lodgings and there passed that night, and the Prince 
was heart-smitten, taking no pleasure in food or in sleep ; for 
melancholy was heavy upon him and he was agitated with longing 
for his beloved. So he besought the Creator that he would vouch- 
safe to unite him with her and he wept and groaned and wailed 
and began versifying : 

Union, this severance ended, shall I see some day? o Then shall my tears this 

love-lorn lot of me portray. 
While night all care forgets I only minded thee, o And thou didst gar me 

wake while all forgetful lay. 

1 Not the first time that royalty has played this prank, nor the last, perhaps. 

Tale of Tdj al-Mul&k and the Princess Dunyd. 13 

And when his improvising came to an end, he wept with sore 
weeping and Aziz wept with him, for that he remembered his 
cousin ; and they both ceased not to shed tears till morning 
dawned, whereupon Taj al-Muluk rose and went to farewell his 
mother, in travelling dress. She asked him of his case and he 
repeated the story to her ; so she gave him fifty thousand gold 
pieces and bade him adieu ; and, as he fared forth, she put up 
prayers for his safety and for his union with his lover and his 
friends. Then he betook himself to his father and asked his leave 
to depart. The King granted him permission and, presenting him 
with other fifty thousand dinars, bade set up a tent for him 
without the city and they pitched a pavilion wherein the travellers 
abode two days. Then all set out on their journey. Now Taj 
al-Muluk delighted in the company of Aziz and said to him, " O 
my brother, henceforth I can never part from thee." Replied Aziz, 
" And I am of like mind and fain would I die under thy feet : but, 

my brother, my heart is concerned for my mother. " " When we 
shall have won our wish," said the Prince, " there will be naught 
save what is well ! " Now the Wazir continued charging Taj al- 
Muluk to be patient, whilst Aziz entertained him every evening 
with talk and recited poetry to him and diverted him with histories 
and anecdotes. And so they fared on diligently night and day for 
two whole months, till the way became tedious to Taj al-Muluk 
and the fire of desire redoubled on him ; and he broke out : 

The road is longsome ; grow my grief and need, o While on my breast love- 
fires for ever feed : 

Goal of my hopes, sole object of my wish ! o By him who moulded man 

from drop o' seed, 

1 bear such loads of longing for thy love, o Dearest, as weight of al- 

Shumm Mounts exceed : 
O ' Lady of my World >l Love does me die ; o No breath of life is left for 

life to plead ; 
But for the union-hope that lends me strength, o My weary limbs were weak 

this way to speed. 

When he had finished his verses, he wept (and Aziz wept with 
him) from a wounded heart, till the Minister was moved to pity by 
their tears and said, " O my lord, be of good cheer and keep thine 
eyes clear of tears; there will be naught save what is well!" 
Quoth Taj al-Muluk, " O Wazir, indeed I am weary of the length 

1 i.e. the Lady Dunya. 

14 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

of the way. Tell me how far we are yet distant from the city." 
Quoth Aziz, " But a little way remaineth to us." Then they con- 
tinued their journey, cutting across river-vales and plains, wolds 
and stony wastes, till one night, as Taj al-Muluk was sleeping, he 
dreamt that his beloved was with him and that he embraced her 
and pressed her to his bosom ; and he awoke quivering, shivering 
with pain, delirious with emotion, and improvised these verses : 

Dear friend, my tears aye flow these cheeks adown, o With longsome pain and 

pine, my sorrow's crown : 
I plain like keening woman child bereft, o And as night falls like 

widow-dove I groan : 
An blow the breeze from land where thou dost wone, o I find o er sunburnt earth 

sweet coolness blown. 
Peace be wi' thee, my love, while zephyr breathes, o And cushat flies and 

turtle makes her moan. 

And when he had ended his versifying, the Wazir came to him and 
said, " Rejoice ; this is a good sign : so be of good cheer and keep 
thine eyes cool and clear, for thou shalt surely compass thy desire." 
And Aziz also came to him and exhorted him to patience and 
applied himself to divert him, talking with him and telling him 
tales. So they pressed on, marching day and night, other two 
months, till there appeared to them one day at sunrise some white 
thing in the distance and Taj ul-Muluk said to Aziz, " What is 
yonder whiteness ? " He replied, " O my lord ! yonder is the 
Castle of Crystal and that is the city thou seekest." At this the 
Prince rejoiced, and they ceased not faring forwards till they drew 
near the city and, as they approached it, Taj al-Muluk joyed with 
exceeding joy, and his care ceased from him. They entered in 
trader guise, the King's son being habited as a merchant of impor- 
tance ; and repaired to a great Khan, known as the Merchants' 
Lodging. Quoth Taj al-Muluk to Aziz, " Is this the resort of the 
merchants ?"; and quoth he, "Yes; 'tis the Khan wherein I lodged 
before." So they alighted there and making their baggage* camels 
kneel, unloaded them and stored their goods in the warehouses. 1 
They abode four days for rest ; when the Wazir advised that they 
should hire a large house. To this they assented and they found 
them a spacious house, fitted up for festivities, where they took up 

1 These magazines are small strongly-built rooms on the ground floor> where robbery 
is almost impossible. 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 15 

their abode, and the Wazir and Aziz studied to devise some device 
for Taj al-Muluk, who remained in a state of perplexity, knowing 
not what to do. Now the Minister could think of nothing but that 
he should set up as a merchant on 'Change and in the market of 
fine stuffs ; so he turned to the Prince and his companion and said 
to them, " Know ye that if we tarry here on this wise, assuredly 
we shall not win our wish nor attain our aim ; but a something 
occurred to me whereby (if Allah please !) we shall find our advan- 
tage." Replied Taj al-Muluk and Aziz, "Do what seemeth good 
to thee, indeed there is a blessing on the grey-beard ; more specially 
on those who, like thyself, are conversant with the conduct of affairs: 
so tell us what occurreth to thy mind." Rejoined the Wazir, " It is 
my counsel that we hire thee a shop in the stuff-bazar, where thou 
mayst sit to sell and buy. Every one, great and small, hath need 
of silken stuffs and other cloths ; so if thou patiently abide in thy 
shop, thine affairs will prosper, Inshallah ! more by token as thou 
art comely of aspect. Make, however, Aziz thy factor and set him 
within the shop, to hand thee the pieces of cloth and stuffs." When 
Taj al-Muluk heard these words, he said, " This rede is right and a 
right pleasant recking." So he took out a handsome suit of mer- 
chant's weed, and, putting it on, set out for the bazar, followed by 
his servants, to one of whom he had given a thousand dinars, 
wherewith to fit up the shopj They ceased riot walking till they 
came to the stuff-market, and when the merchants saw Taj al- 
Muluk's beauty and grace, they were confounded and went about 
saying, " Of a truth Rizwan * hath opened the gates of Paradise 
and left them unguarded, so that this youth of passing comeliness 
hath come forth." And others, " Peradventure this is one of the 
angels." Now when they went in among the traders they asked 
for the shop of the Overseer of the market and the merchants 
directed them thereto. So they delayed not to repair thither and 
to salute him, and he and those who were with him rose to them 
and seated them and made much of them, because of the Wazir, 
whom they saw to be a man in years and of reverend aspect ; and 
viewing the youths Aziz and Taj al-Muluk in his company, they 
said to one another, " Doubtless our Shaykh is the father of these 
two youths." Then quoth the Wazir, " Who among you is the Over- 

1 Lit. "approbation,'* " benediction " ; also the Angel who keeps the Gates of Para- 
dise and who has allowed one of the Ghilman (or Wuldan) the boys of supernatural 
beauty that wait upon the Faithful, to wander forth into this wicked world. 

1 6 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

seer of the market?" "This is he," replied they; and behold, 
he came forward and the Wazir observed him narrowly and saw 
him to be an old man of grave and dignified carriage, with eunuchs 
and servants and black slaves. The Syndic greeted them with 
the greeting of friends and was lavish in his attentions to them : 
then he seated them by his side and asked them, " Have ye any 
business which we * may have the happiness of transacting ? " The 
Minister answered, " Yes ; I am an old man, stricken in years, and 
have with me these two youths, with whom I have travelled through 
every town and country, entering no great city without tarrying there 
a full year, that they might take their pleasure in viewing it and 
come to know its citizens. Now I have visited your town intend- 
ing to sojourn here for a while ; so I want of thee a handsome 
shop in the best situation, wherein I may establish them, that they 
may traffic and learn to buy and sell and give and take, whilst 
they divert themselves with the sight of the place, and become 
familiar with the usages of its people." Quoth the Overseer, 
" There is no harm in that ;" and, looking at the two youths, he 
was delighted with them and affected them with a warm affection. 
Now he was a great connoisseur of bewitching glances, preferring 
the love of boys to that of girls and inclining to the sour rather 
than the sweet of love. So he said to himself, " This, indeed, is fine 
game. Glory be to Him who created and fashioned them out of vile 
water ! " 2 and rising, stood before them like a servant to do them 
honour. Then he went out and made ready for them a shop 
which was in the very midst of the Exchange ; nor was there any 
larger or better in the bazar, for it was spacious and handsomely 
decorated and fitted with shelves of ivory and ebony wood. After 
this he delivered the keys to the Wazir, who was dressed as an old 
merchant, saying, " Take them, O my lord, and Allah make it a 
blessed abiding-place to thy two sons ! " The Minister took the 
keys and the three returning to the Khan where they had alighted, 
bade the servants transport to the shop all their goods and stuffs. 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

1 In Europe this would be a plurale majestatis, used only by Royalty. In Arabic it 
has no such significance, and even the lower orders apply it to themselves ; although it 
often has a soup$on of " I and thou.'V^ 

2 Man being an " extract of despicable water " (Koran xxxii. 7) ex spermate genitali, 
b\rhich Mr. Rodwell renders " from germs of life,*' " from sorry water." 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 

Nofo fojen ft foas tie $^unfcre& an* 2Wrtg=secon& 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the: 
Wazir took the shop keys, he went accompanied by Taj al-Muluk 
and Aziz to the Khan, and they bade the servants transport to 
the shop all their goods and stuffs and valuables of which they 
had great store worth treasures of money. And when all this 
was duly done, they went to the shop and ordered their stock in 
trade and slept there that night. As soon as morning morrowed 
the Wazir took the two young men to the Hammam-bath where 
they washed them clean ; and they donned rich dresses and scented 
themselves with essences and enjoyed themselves to the utmost 
Now each of the youths was passing fair to look upon, and in the 
bath they were even as saith the poet : 

Luck to the Rubber, whose deft hand o'erflies * A frame begotten twixt the 

lymph and light : ! 
He shows the thaumaturgy of his craft, * And gathers musk in form of 

camphor dight. 2 

After bathing they left ; and, when the Overseer heard that they 
had gone to the Hammam, he sat down to await the twain, and 
presently they came up to him like two gazelles ; their cheeks were 
reddened by the bath and their eyes were darker than ever ; their 
faces shone and they were as two lustrous moons or two branches 
fruit-laden. Now when he saw them he rose forthright and said 
to them, " O my sons, may your bath profit you alway ! " 3 Where- 
upon Taj al-Muluk replied, with the sweetest of speech, " Allah be 
bountiful to thee, O my father ; why didst thou not come with 
us and bathe in our company ? " Then they both bent over his 
right hand and kissed it and walked before him to the shop, to 
entreat him honourably and show their respect for him, for that he 
was Chief of the Merchants and the market, and he had done 
them kindness in giving them the shop. When he saw their hips 

r i.e. begotten by man's seed in the light of salvation (Niir al-huda). 

2 The rolls of white (camphor-like) scarf-skin and sordes which come off under the 
bathman's glove become by miracle of Beauty, as brown musk. The Rubber or Sham- 
pooer is called in Egypt " Mukayyis" (vulgarly " Mukayyisdti ") or " bagman, " 
from his " Kis," a bag-glove of coarse wollen stuff. To " Johnny Raws" he never 
fails to show the little rolls which come off the body and prove to them how unclean 
they are; but the material is mostly dead scarf-skin. 

3 The normal phrase on such occasions (there is always a "dovetail" de rigueur) 
14 Allah give thee profit ! " 


1 8 { Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

quivering as they'moved, desire and longing redoubled on him ;' 
and he puffed and snorted and he devoured them with his eyes, 
for he could not contain himself, repeating the while these two 
couplets : 

Here the heart reads a chapter of devotion pure ; o Nor reads dispute if 
Heaven in worship partner take : 

No wonder 'tis he trembles walking 'neath such weight ! o How much of move- 
ment that revolving sphere must make. 1 

Furthermore he said : 

I saw two charmers treading humble earth, Two I must love an tread they 
on mine eyes. 

When they heard this, they conjured him to enter the bath with 
them a second time. He could hardly believe his ears and hasten- 
ing thither, went in with them. The Wazir had not yet left the 
bath ; so when he heard of the Overseer's coming, he came out 
and meeting him in the middle of the bath-hall invited him to 
enter. He refused, whereupon Taj al-Muluk taking him by the 
hand walked on one side and Aziz by the other, and carried him 
into a cabinet ; and that impure old man submitted to them, whilst 
his emotion increased on him. He would have refused, albeit this 
was what he desired ; but the Minister said to him, " They are thy 
sons ; let them wash thee and cleanse thee." " Allah preserve 
them to thee ! " exclaimed the Overseer, " by Allah your coming 
and the coming of those with you bring down blessing and good 
luck upon our city ! " And he repeated these two couplets : 

Thou earnest and green grew the hills anew ; o And sweetest bloom to 

the bridegroom threw, 
While aloud cried Earth and her earth-borns too o ' Hail and welcome who 

comest with grace to endue.' 

They thanked him for this, and Taj al-Muluk ceased not to wash 
him and Aziz to pour water over him and he thought his soul in 
Paradise. When they had made an end of his service, he blessed 
them and sat by the side of the Wazir, talking but gazing the 
while on the youths. Presently, the servants brought them towels, 
and they dried themselves and donned their dress. Then they 
Went out, and the Minister turned to the Syndic and said to him, 

1 i.e. We are forced to love him only, and ignore giving him a rival (referring to 
Koranic denunciations of " Shirk," or attributing a partner to Allah, the religion of 
plurality, syntheism not polytheism) : see, he walks tottering under the weight of his 
back parts wriggling them whilst they are rounded like the revolving heavens. 

Tale of Tdj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 19 

"O my lord! verily the bath is the Paradise 1 of this world." 
Replied the Overseer, " Allah vouchsafe to thee such Paradise, and 
health to thy sons and guard them from the evil eye! Do ye 
remember aught that the eloquent have said in praise of the bath ? " 
Quoth Taj al-Muluk, " I will repeat for thee a pair of couplets ; " 
and he recited : 

The life of the bath is the joy of man's life, 2 o Save that time is short for us 

there to bide : 
A Heaven, where irksome it were to stay; o A Hell, delightful at entering- 


When he ended his recital, quoth Aziz, " And I also remember two 
couplets in praise of the bath." The Overseer said, " Let me hear 
them ; " so he repeated the following : 

A. house where flowers from stones of granite grow, o Seen at its best when 

hot with living lowe : 
Thou deem'st it Hell but here, forsooth, is Heaven, o And some like suns 

and moons within it show. 

And when he had ended his recital, his verses pleased the Overseer 
and he wondered at his words and savoured their grace and 
facundity and said to them, " By Allah, ye possess both beauty 
and eloquence. But now listen to me, you twain ! " And he 
began chanting, and recited in song the following verses : 

joy of Hell and Heaven ! whose tormentry o Enquickens frame and soul 

with lively gree : 

1 marvel so delightsome house to view, o And most when 'neath it 

kindled fires I see : 

Sojourn of bliss to visitors, withal o Pools on them pour down 

tears unceasingly. 

!' . i. ii ... i ni i . i. 

1 Jannat al-Na'im (Garden of Delight) ; the fifth of the seven Paradises, made of 
-*rhite diamond ; the gardens and the plurality being borrowed from the Talmud. 
Mohammed's Paradise, by the by, is not a greater failure than Dante's. Only ignorance 
or pious fraud asserts it to be wholly sensual ; and a single verse is sufficient refutation : 
" Their prayer therein shall be * Praise unto thee, O Allah !' and their salutation therein 

'shall be ' Peace ! ' and the end of their prayer shall be, ' Praise unto God, the Lord of all 
creatures'" (Koran x. 10-11). See also Ivi. 24-26. It will also be an intellectual 
condition wherein knowledge will greatly be increased (Ixx'xviii. 17-20). Moreover the 
Moslems, far more logical than Christians, admit into Paradise the so-called "lower 

2 Sed vitam faciunt balnea, vina, Venus ! The Hammam to Easterns is a luxury as 
well as a necessity ; men sit there for hours talking chiefly of money and their prowess 
with the fair ; and women pass half the day in it complaining of their husbands' over- 
amativeness and contrasting their own chaste and modest aversion to carnal congress. 

2O A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Then his eye sight roamed and browsed on the gardens of their 
beauty and 'he repeated these two couplets : 

I went to the house of the keeper-man; o He was out, but others to 

smile began : 
I entered his Heaven 1 and then his Hell; 2 o And I said " Bless Malik 3 

and bless Rizwa"n." * 

When they heard these verses they were charmed, and the Overseer 
invited them to his house; but they declined and returned to their 
own place, to rest from the great heat of the bath. So they took 
their ease there and ate and drank and passed that night in perfect 
solace and satisfaction, till morning dawned, when they arose from 
sleep and making their lesser ablution, prayed the dawn-prayer 
and drank the morning draught. 5 As soon as the sun had risen 
and the shops and markets opened, they arose and going forth 
from their place to the bazar opened their shop, which their 
servants had already furnished, after the handsomest fashion, and 
Jiad spread with prayer-rugs and silken carpets and had placed on 
the divans a pair of mattresses, each worth an hundred dinars. On 
every mattress they had disposed a rug of skin fit for a King and 
edged with a fringe of gold ; and a-middlemost the shop stood 
a third seat still richer, even as the place required. Then Taj 
al-Muluk sat down on one divan, and Aziz on another/whilst the 
Wazir seated himself on that in the centre, and the servants stood 
before them. The city people soon heard of them and crowded 
about them, so that they sold some of their goods and not a few of 
their stuffs ; for Taj al-Muluk's beauty and loveliness had become 
the talk of the town. Thus they passed a trifle of time, and every 
day the people flocked to them and pressed upon them more and 

1 The frigidarium or cold room, coolness being delightful to the Arab. 

2 The calidarium or hot room of the bath. 

3 The Angel who acts door-keeper of Hell ; others say he specially presides over the 
torments of the damned (Koran xliii. 78). 

4 The Door-keeper of Heaven before mentioned who, like the Guebre Zamiyad has 
charge of the heavenly lads and lasses, and who is often charged by poets with letting 
them slip. 

8 Lane (i. 616), says "of wine, milk, sherbet, or any other beverage. 1 * Here it is 
wine, a practice famed in Persian poetry, especially by Hafiz, but most distasteful to a 
European stomach. We find the Mu allakah of Imr al-Kays noticing "our morning 
draught." Nott (Hafiz) says a " cheerful cup of wine in the morning was a favourite 
indulgence with the more luxurious Persians. And it was not uncommon among the 
Easterns, to salute a friend by saying : May your morning potation be agreeable to you ! " 
In the present day this practice is confined to regular debauchees. 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya. 21 

more, till the Wazir, after exhorting Taj al-Muluk to keep his 
secret, commended him to the care of Aziz and went horrie, that 
he might commune with himself alone and cast about for some 
contrivance which might profit them. Meanwhile, the two young 
men sat talking and Taj al Muluk said to Aziz, " Haply some one 
will come from the Lady Dunya." So he ceased not expecting this 
chance days and nights, but his heart was troubled and he knew 
neither sleep nor rest ; for desire had got the mastery of him, and 
love and longing were sore upon him, so that he renounced the 
solace of sleep and abstained from meat and drink ; yet ceased he 
not to be like the moon on the night of fullness. Now one day as 
he sat in the shop, behold, there came up an ancient woman 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

Nofo to&en ft foas tfje f^untafc attU {Jbfttg-t&htJ Nfgf)f, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
Dandan continued to Zau al-Makan : Now one day as Taj al- 
Muluk sat in his shop, behold, there appeared an ancient woman, 
who came up to him followed by two slave girls. She ceased not 
advancing till she stood before the shop of Taj al-Muluk and>, 
observing his symmetry and beauty and loveliness, marvelled at 
his charms and sweated in her petticoat trousers, exclaiming, 
"Glory to Him who created thee out of vile water, and made 
thee a temptation to all beholders ! " And she fixed her eyes on 
him and said, " This is not a mortal, he is none other than an 
angel deserving the highest respect." * Then she drew near and 
saluted him, whereupon he returned her salute and rose to his feet 
to receive her and smiled in her face (all this by a hint from Aziz); 
after which he made her sit down by his side and fanned her with 
a fan, till she was rested and refreshed. Then she turned to Taj 
al-Muluk and said, " O my son ! O thou who art perfect in bodily 
gifts and spiritual graces; say me, art thou of this country >" He 
replied, in voice the sweetest and in tone the pleasantest, " By 
Allah, O my mistress, I was never in this land during my life till 
this time, nor do I abide here save by way of diversion." Rejoined 

1 Koran xii. 31. The words spoken by Zulaykha's women friends and detractors whom 
she invited to see Beauty Joseph. 


Alf Layl&k wa Laylah. 

she, " May the Granter grant thee all honour and prosperity ! And 
what stuffs hast thou brought with thee ? Show me something 
passing fine ; for the beauteous should bring nothing but what is 
beautiful." When he heard her words, his heart fluttered and he 
knew not their inner meaning ; but Aziz made a sign to him and 
he replied, " I have everything thou canst desire and especially I 
have goods that besit none but Kings and King's daughters ; so 
tell me what stuff thou wantest and for whom, that I may show 
thee what will be fitting for him." This he said, that he might, 
learn the meaning of her words ; and she rejoined, " I want a stuff 
fit for the Princess Dunya, daughter of King Shahriman." Now 
when the Prince heard the name of his beloved, he joyed with 
great joy and said to Aziz, " Give me such a parcel." So Aziz 
brought it and opened it before Taj al-Muluk who said to the old- 
woman, " Select what will suit her ; for these goods are to be found 
only with me." She chose stuffs worth a thousand dinars and 
asked, " How much is this ? " ; and she ceased not the while to 
talk with him and rub what was inside her thighs with the palm of 
her hand. Answered Taj al-Muluk, " Shall I haggle with the like 
of thee about this paltry price ? Praised be Allah who hath ac- 
quainted me with thee ! " The old woman rejoined, "Allah's name 
be upon thee ! I commend thy beautiful face to the protection of 
the Lord of the Daybreak. 1 Beautiful face and eloquent speech ! 
Happy she who lieth in thy bosom and claspeth thy waist in her 
arms and enjoyeth thy youth, especially if she be beautiful and 
lovely like thyself!" At this, Taj al-Muluk laughed till he fell 
on his back and said to himself, " O Thou who fulfillest desires 
human by means of pimping old women ! They are the true ful- 
fillers of desires ! " Then she asked, " O my son, what is thy 
name ? " and he answered, " My name is Taj al-Muluk, the Crown 
of Kings." Quoth she, " This is indeed a name of Kings and 
King's sons and thou art clad in merchant's clothes. 7 ' Quoth 
Aziz, " For the love his parents and family bore him and for the 
value they set on him, they named him thus." Replied the old 
woman, " Thou sayest sooth, Allah guard you both from the evil 
eye and the envious, though hearts be broken by your charms 1 " 
Then she took the stuffs and went her way ; but she was amazed 

1 A formula for averting fascination. Koran, chapt. cxiii. I. " Falak " means 
"cleaving" ; hence the breaking forth of light from darkness, a "wonderful instance of 
the Divine power." 

Tale of Tdj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 23 

at his beauty and stature and symmetry, and she ceased not going 
till she found the Lady Dunya and said to her, " O my mistress ! 1 
have brought thee some handsome stuffs." Quoth the Princess, 
" Show me that same " ; and the old woman, " O apple of my eye, 
here it is, turn it over and examine it." Now when the Princess 
looked at it she was amazed and said, " O my nurse, this is indeed 
handsome stuff: I have never seen its like in our city." " O my 
lady," replied the old nurse," he who sold it me is handsomer still. 
It would seem as if Rizwan had left the gates of Paradise open in 
his carelessness, and as if the youth who sold me this stuff had 
come bodily out of Heaven. I would he might sleep this night 
with thee and might lie between thy breasts. 1 He hath come to 
thy city with these precious stuffs for amusement's sake, and he is 
a temptation to all who set eyes on him." The Princess laughed 
at her words and said, " Allah afflict thee, O pernicious old hag ! 
Thou dotest and there is no sense left in thee." Presently, she 
resumed, " Give me the stuff that I may look at it anew." So she 
gave it her and she took it again and saw that its size was small 
and its value great. It pleased her, for she had never in her life 
seen its like, and she exclaimed, " By Allah, this is a handsome 
stuff! " Answered the old woman, " O my lady, by Allah ! if thou 
sawest its owner thou wouldst know him for the handsomest man 
on the face of the earth." Quoth the Lady Dunya, " Didst thou 
ask him if he had any need, that he might tell us and we might 
satisfy it ? " But the nurse shook her head and said, " The Lord 
keep thy sagacity ! By Allah, he hath a want, may thy skill not 
fail thee. What ! is any man free from wants ? " Rejoined the 
Princess, " Go back to him and salute him and say to him : Oui 
land and town are honoured by thy visit and, if thou have any 
need, we will fulfil it to thee, on our head and eyes." So the old 
woman at once returned to Taj al-Muluk, and when he saw her his 
heart jumped for joy and gladness and he rose to his feet before 
her and, taking her hand, seated her by his side. As soon as she 
was rested, she told him what Princess Dunya had said ; and he 
on hearing it joyed with exceeding joy ; his breast dilated to the 
full ; gladness entered his heart and he said to himself, " Verily, I 
have my need." Then he asked the old woman, " Haply thou wilt 
take her a message from me and bring me her answer ? "; and she 

1 The usual delicate chaff. 

24 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

answered, "I hear and I obey." So he said to Aziz, "Bring me 
ink-case and paper and a brazen pen." And when Aziz brought 
him what he sought, he hent the pen in hand and wrote these lines 
of poetry: 

I write to thee, O fondest hope ! a writ o Of grief that severance on my 

soul doth lay : 
Saith its first line, " Within my heart is lowe ! " o Its second, " Love and 

Longing on me prey ! " 

Its third, " My patience waste is, fades my life ! " o Its fourth, " Naught shall 
1 my pain and pine allay ! " 
Its fifth, "When shall mine eyes enjoy thy sight?" o Its sixth, " Say, when 

shall dawn our meeting-day ? " 

And, lastly, by way of subscription he wrote these words. " This 

letter is from the captive of captivation # prisoned in the hold of 
longing expectation * wherefrom is no emancipation * but in 
anticipation and intercourse and in unification * after absence and 
separation. * For from the severance of friends he loveth so fain * 
he suffereth love-pangs and pining pain. # " Then his tears rushed 
out, and he indited these two couplets : 

I write thee, love, the while my tears pour down; o Nor cease they ever 

pouring thick and fleet : 
Yet I despair not of my God, whose grace o Haply some day will 

grant us twain to meet. 

Then he folded the letter ! and sealed it with his signet-ring and 
gave it to the old woman, saying, " Carry it to the Lady Dunya." 
Quoth she, " To hear is to obey ; " whereupon he gave her a 
thousand dinars and said to her, " O my mother ! accept this gift 
from me as a token of my affection." She took both from him 
and blessed him and went her way and never stinted walking till 
she went in to the Lady Dunya. Now when the Princess saw her 
she said to her, " O my nurse, what is it he asketh of need that 
(we may fulfil his wish to him ? " Replied the old woman, " O my 

* l Such letters are generally written on a full-sized sheet of paper ("notes" are held 
slighting in the East) and folded till the breadth is reduced to about one inch. The 
edges are gummed ; the ink, much like our Indian ink, is smeared with the finger upon 
the signet-ring ; the place where it is to be applied is slightly wetted with the tongue and 
the seal is stamped across the line of junction to secure privacy. I have given a 
specimen of an original love-letter of the kind in Scinde, or the Unhappy Valley/' 
chapt. iv. 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 2$ 

iady, he sendeth thee this letter by me, and I know not what is in 
it ; " and handed it to her. Then the Princess took the letter and 
read it ; and when she understood it, she exclaimed, " Whence 
cometh and whither goeth this merchant man that he durst 
address such a letter to me?" And she slapt her face saying, 
"Whence are we that we should come to shopkeeping? Awah ! 
Awah ! By the lord, but that I fear Almighty Allah I had slain 
him;" and she added, "Yea, I had crucified 1 him over his shop- 
door!" Asked the old woman, ** What is in this letter to vex 
thy heart and move thy wrath on this wise ? Doth it contain a 
complaint of oppression or demand for the price of the stuff ?" 
Answered the Princess, " Woe to thee ! There is none of this in it, 
naught but words of love and endearment This is all through 
thee : otherwise whence should this Satan 2 know me ? " Rejoined 
the old woman, " O my lady, thou sittest in thy high palace and 
none may have access to thee ; no, not even the birds of the air. 
Allah keep thee, and keep thy youth from blame and reproach ! 
Thou needest not care for the barking of dogs, for thou art a 
Princess, the daughter of a King. Be not wroth with me that I 
brought thee this letter, knowing not what was in it ; but I opine 
that thou send him an answer and threaten him with death and 
forbid him this foolish talk ; surely he will abstain and not do the 
like again." Quoth the Lady Dunya, " I fear that, if I write to 
him, he will desire me the more." The old woman returned, if When 
he heareth thy threats and promise of punishment, he will desist 
from his persistence." She cried, " Here with the ink-case and 
paper and brazen pen;" and when they brought them she wrote 
these couplets : 

1 Arab. " Salb " which may also mean hanging, but the usual term for the latter in 
The Nights is "shanak." Crucifixion, abolished by the superstitious Constantine, was 
practised as a servile punishment as late as -the days of Mohammed All Pasha the Great. 
The malefactors were nailed and tied to the patibulum or cross-piece, without any 
suppedaneum or foot-rest and left to suffer tortures from flies and sun, thirst and 
hunger. They often lived three days and died of the wounds mortifying and the nervous 1 
exhaustion brought on by cramps and convulsions. In many cases the corpses were left 
to feed the kites and crows ; and this added horror to the death. Moslems care little for 
mere hanging. Whenever a fanatical atrocity is to be punished, the malefactor should 
be hung in pig-skin, his body burnt and the ashes publicly thrown into a common 

2 Arab. " Shaytari" the insolent or rebellious one is a common term of abuse. The 
word is Koranic, and borrowed as usual from the Jews. " Satan " occurs four times in die 
O. T. o which two are in Job. where, however, he is a subordinate angel. 

26 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

thou who for thy wakeful nights wouldst claim my love to boon, o For >vhat 

of pining thou must feel and tribulation ! 

Dost thou, fond fool and proud of sprite, seek meeting with the Moon ? o Say, 
did man ever win his wish to take in arms the Moon ? 

1 counsel thee, from soul cast out the wish that dwells therein, o And cut that 

short which threatens thee with sore risk oversoon : 
An to such talk thou dare return, I' bid thee to expect o Fro' me such awful 

penalty as suiteth froward loon : 
I swear by Him who moulded man from gout of clotted blood, 1 o Who lit the 

Sun to shine by day and lit for night the moon, 
An thou return to mention that thou spakest in thy pride, o Upon a cross of 

tree for boon I'll have thee crucified ! 

Then she folded the letter and handing it to the old woman said, 
" Give him this and say him : Cease from this talk ! " " Hearken- 
ing and obedience " replied she, and taking the letter with joy, 
returned to her own house, where she passed the night ; and when 
morning dawned she betook herself to the shop of Taj al-Muluk 
whom she found expecting her. When he saw her, he was ready 
to fly 2 for delight, and when she came up to him, he stood to her 
on his feet and seated her by his side. Then she brought out the 
letter and gave it to him, saying, " Read what is in this ; " adding 
"When Princess Dunya read thy letter she was angry; but I 
coaxed her and jested with her till I made her laugh, and she 
had pity on thee and she hath returned thee an answer." He 
thanked her for her kindness and bade Aziz give her a thousand 
gold pieces : then he perused the letter and understanding it fell 
to weeping a weeping so sore that the old woman's heart was 
moved to ruth for him, and his tears and complaints were grievous 
to her. Presently she asked him, " O my son, what is there in this 
letter to make thee weep ? " Answered he, " She hath threatened 
me with death and crucifixion and she forbiddeth me to write to 
her , but if I write not my death were better than my life. So 
take thou my answer to her letter and let her work her will." 

1 Arab. " Alak" from the Koran xxii. 5. " O men . . . consider that we first created 
you of dust (Adam) ; afterwards of seed (Rodwell's " moist germs of life '*) ; afterwards 
of a little coagulated (or clots of) blood." It refers to all mankind except Adam, Eve 
and Isa. Also chapt. xcvi. 2, which, as has been said was probably the first composed 
at Meccah. Mr. Rodwell (v. jo) translates by Servant of God " what should be " Slave 
of Allah," alluding to Mohammed's original name Abdullah. See my learned friend 
Aloys Sprenger, l^eben, etc., i. 155. 

2 The Hindus similarly exaggerate: "He was ready to leap out pf his skin in his 
fSelight " (Katha, etc., p. 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya. 27 

Rejoined the old woman, " By the life of thy youth, needs must 
I risk my existence for thee, that I may bring thee to thy 
desire and help thee to win what thou hast at heart ! " And 
Taj al-Muluk said, "Whatever thou dost, I will requite thee for 
it and do thou weigh it in the scales of thy judgement, for thou 
art experienced in managing matters, and skilled in reading the 
chapters of the book of intrigue: all hard matters to thee are 
easy doings ; and Allah can bring about everything." Then 
he took a sheet of paper and wrote thereon these improvised 
couplets : 

Yestre'en my love with slaughter menaced me, o But sweet were slaughter 
and Death 's foreordained : 

Yes, Death is sweet for lover doomed to bear o Long life, rejected, in- 
jured and constrained : 

By Allah ! deign to visit friendless friend ! o Thy thrall am I and like 

a thrall I'm chained : 

Mercy, O lady mine, for loving thee ! o Who loveth noble soul 

should be assained. 

Then he sighed heavy sighs and wept till the old woman wept 
also ; and presently taking the letter she said to him, " Be of good 
cheer and cool eyes and clear ; for needs must I bring thee to thy 

wish." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

Noto fofjen ft fcoas tf)e f^imfcrrtr an& ^Jfrfg-fourtf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Taj 
al-Muluk wept the old woman said to him, " Be of good cheer 
and cool eyes and clear ; for needs must I bring thee to thy wish." 
Then she rose and left him on coals of fire ; and returned to 
Princess Dunya, whom she found still showing on her changed face 
rage at Taj al-Muluk's letter. So she gave her his second letter, 
whereat her wrath redoubled and she said, "Did I not say he 
would desire us the more ? " Replied the old woman, " What thing 
is this dog that he should aspire to thee ? " Quoth the Princess, 
" Go back to him and tell him that, if he write me after this, I 
will cut off his head." Quoth the nurse, " Write these words in a 
letter and I will take it to him that his fear may be the greater." 
So she took a sheet of paper and wrote thereon these couplets : 

28 A If Laylah iva Laylak. 

Ho thou, who past and bygone risks regardest with uncare ! o Thou who W 

win thy meeting-prize dost overslowly fare ! 
In pride of spirit thinkest thou to win the star Soha 1 ? o Albe thou may not 

reach the Moon which shines through upper air ? 
How darest thou expect to win my favours, hope to clip o Upon a lover's 

burning breast my lance like shape and rare ? 
Leave this thy purpose lest my wrath come down on thee some day, o A day of 

wrath shall hoary turn the partings of thy hair ! 

Then she folded the letter and gave it to the old woman, who took 
it and repaired to Taj al-Muluk. And when he saw her, he rose 
to his feet and exclaimed, " May Allah never bereave me of the 
blessing of thy coming ! " Quoth she, " Take the answer to thy 
letter." He took it and reading it, wept with sore weeping and 
said, " I long for some one to slay me at this moment and send 
me to my rest, for indeed death were easier to me than this my 
state ! " Then he took ink-case and pen and paper and wrote a 
letter containing these two couplets : 

O hope of me ! pursue me not with rigour and disdain : o Deign thou to visit 

lover-wight in love of thee is drowned ; 
Deem not a life so deeply wronged I longer will endure ; o My soul for sever* 

ance from my friend divorced this frame unsound. 

Lastly he folded the letter and handed it to the old woman, saying, 
"Be not angry with me, though I have wearied thee to no pur- 
pose." And he bade Aziz give her other thousand ducats, saying^ 
" O my mother, needs must this letter result in perfect union or 
utter severance." Replied she, " O my son, by Allah, I desire 
nought but thy weal ; and it is my object that she be thine, for 
indeed thou art the shining moon, and she the rising sun. 2 If I 

1 A star in the tail of the Great Bear, one of the " Banat al-Na'ash," or a star close 
to the second. Its principal use is to act foil to bright Sohayl (Canopus) as in the 
beginning of Jami's Layla-Majnun : 

To whom Thou'rt hid, day is darksome night : 
To whom shown, Solid as Sohayl is bright. 

See also al-Hariri (xxxii. and xxxvi.). The saying, " I show her Soha and she shows me 
the moon" (A. P. i. 547) arose as follows. In the Ignorance a beautiful Amazon defied 
any man to take her maidenhead ; and a certain Ibn al-Ghazz won the game by struggling 
with her till she was nearly senseless. He then asked her, "How is thine eye-sight: 
dost thou see Soha?" and she, in her confusion, pointed to the moon and said, "That 
is it!" 
8 The moon being masculine (lunus) and the sun feminine. 

Tale of Tdj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 29 

do not bring you together, there is no profit in my existence ; and 
I have lived my life till I have reached the age of ninety years in 
the practice of wile and intrigue ; so how should I fail to unite 
two lovers, though in defiance of right and law ? " Then she took 
leave of him having comforted his heart, and ceased not walking 
till she went in to the Lady Dunya, Now she had hidden the 
letter in her hair: so when she sat down by the Princess she 
rubbed her head and said, " O my lady, maybe thou wilt untwist 
my hair-knot, for it is a time since I went to the Hammam." The 
King's daughter bared her arms to the elbows and, letting down 
the old woman's locks, began to loose the knot of back hair ; 
when out dropped the letter and the Lady Dunya seeing it, asked, 
" What is this paper ? " Quoth the nurse, As I sat in the mer- 
chant's shop, this paper must have stuck to me : give it to me that 
I may return it to him ; possibly it containeth some account 
whereof he hath need." But the Princess opened it and read it 
and, when she understood it, she cried out, " This is one of thy 
manifold tricks, and hadst thou not reared me, I would lay violent 
hands on thee this moment ! Verily Allah hath afflicted me with 
this merchant : but all that hath befallen me with him is on thy 
head. I know not from what country this one can have come ; 
no man but he would venture to affront me thus, and I fear lest 
this my case get abroad, more by token as it concerneth one who 
is neither of my kin nor of my peers." Rejoined the old woman, 
" None would dare speak of this for fear of thy wrath and for awe 
of thy sire ; so there can be no harm in sending him an answer." 
Quoth the Princess, "O my nurse, verily this one is a perfect 
Satan ! How durst he use such language to me and not dread the 
Sultan's rage. Indeed, I am perplexed about his case : if I order 
him to be put to death, it were unjust ; and if I leave him alive his 
boldness will increase." Quoth the old woman, " Come, write him 
a letter ; it may be he will desist in dread." So she called for 
paper and ink-case and pen and wrote these couplets : 

Thy folly drives thee on though long I chid, o Writing in verse : how long 

shall I forbid ? 
For all forbiddal thou persistest more, o And my sole grace it is t<* 

keep it hid ; 
Then hide thy love nor ever dare reveal ; o For an thou speak, of thee 

Pll soon be rid ; 
If to thy silly speech thou turn anew, e Ravens shall croak for thee 

the wold amid : 

3O A If Lay la ft wa Laylak. 

And Death shall come and beat thee down ere long, o Put out of sight and 

bury 'neath an earthen lid : 
Thy folk, fond fool ! thou'lt leave for thee to mourn, o And through their 

lives to sorrow all forlorn. 

Then she folded the letter and committed it to the old woman, 
who took it and returning to Taj al-Muluk, gave it to him. When 
he read it, he knew that the Princess was hard-hearted and that he 
should not win access to her ; so he complained of his case to the 
Wazir and besought his counsel. Quoth the Minister/ " Know 
thou that naught will profit thee save that thou write to her and 
invoke the retribution of Heaven upon her." And quoth the 
Prince, " O my brother, O Aziz, do thou write to her as if my 
tongue spake, according to thy knowledge." So Aziz took a paper 
and wrote these couplets : 

By the Five Shayks, 1 O Lord, I pray deliver me ; Let her for whom I suffer 

bear like misery : 
Thou knowest how I fry in flaming lowe of love, o While she I love hath 

naught of ruth or clemency : 
How long shall I, despite my pain, her feelings spare ? o How long shall she 

wreak tyranny o'er weakling me ? 
In pains of never-ceasing death I ever grieve : o O Lord, deign aid ; none 

other helping hand I see. 
How fain would I forget her and forget her love ! o But how forget when Love 

garred Patience death to dree ? 
O thou who hinderest Love to 'joy fair meeting-tide Say ! art thou safe from 

Time and Fortune's jealousy? 
Art thou not glad and blest with happy life, while I o From folk and country 

for thy love am doomed flee? 

Then Aziz folded the letter and gave it to Taj al-Muluk, who read 
it and was pleased with it. So he handed it to the old woman, 
who took it and went in with it to Princess Dunya. But when she 
read it and mastered the meaning thereof, she was enraged with 
great rage and said, " All that hath befallen me cometh by means 
of this ill-omened old woman !" Then she cried out to the damsels 
and eunuchs, saying, " Seize this old hag, this accursed trickstress 
and beat her with your slippers ! " So they came down upon her 
till she swooned away ; and, when she came to herself, the Princess 
said to her, " By the Lord ! O wicked old woman, did I not fear 
Almighty Allah, I would slay thee." Then quoth she to them, 

1 The " five Shaykhs" must allude to that number of Saints whose names are doubt- 
ful ; it would be vain to ofier conjectures. Lane and hi* ' Sheykh " (i. 617) have fcied 

Tale of Tdj al-MuUk and the Princess Dunyd* 31 

"Beat her again " and they did so till she fainted a second time, 
whereupon she bade them drag her forth and throw her outside the 
palace-door. So they dragged her along on her face and threw her 
down before the gate ; but as soon as she revived she got up from 
the ground and, walking and sitting by turns, made her way home: 
There she passed the night till morning, when she arose and went 
to Taj al-Muluk and told them all that had occurred. He was 
distressed at this grievous news and said, " O my mother, hard 
indeed to us is that which hath befallen thee, but all things are 
according to fate and man's lot." Replied she, " Be of good cheer 
and keep thine eyes cool and clear, for I will not give over striving 
till I have brought thee and her together, and made thee enjoy this 
wanton who hath burnt my skin with beating." Asked the Prince, 
" Tell me what caused her to hate men ; " and the old woman 
answered, " It arose from what she saw in a dream." " And what 
was this dream ? " " 'Twas this : one night, as she lay asleep, she 
saw a fowler spread his net upon the ground and scatter wheat* 
grain round it. Then he sat down hard by, and not a bird in the 
neighbourhood but flocked to his toils. Amongst the rest she 
beheld a pair of pigeons, male and female ; and, whilst she was 
watching the net, behold, the male bird's foot caught in the meshes 
and he began to struggle; whereupon all the other birds took 
fright and flew away. But presently his mate came back and 
hovered over him, then alighted on the toils unobserved by the 
fowler, and fell to pecking with her beak and pulling at the mesh 
in which the male bird's foot was tangled, till she released the toes 
and they flew away together. Then the fowler came up, mended his 
net and seated himself afar off. After an hour or so the birds flew 
back and the female pigeon was caught in the net ; whereupon all the 
other birds took fright and scurried away ; and the male pigeon 
fled with the rest and did not return to his mate, but the fowler 
came up and took the female -pigeon and cut her throat. The 
Princess awoke, troubled by her dream, and said: All males 
are like this pigeon, worthless creatures : and men in general lack 
grace and goodness to women." When the old woman had ended 
her story, the Prince said to her, " O my mother, I desire to have 
one lool? at her, though it be my death ; so do thou contrive me 
some contrivance for seeing her." She replied, " Know then that 
she hath under her palace windows a garden wherein she taketh 
her pleasure ; and thither she resorteth once in every month by the 
private door. After ten days, the time of her thus going forth to. 

3 2 A?f Laylak ma Laylak. 

divert herself will arrive; so when she is about to visit the garden, 
I will come and tell thee, that thou mayst go thither and meet her. 
And look thou leave not the garden, for haply, an she see thy 
beauty and loveliness, her heart will be taken with love of thee, 
and love is the most potent means of union." He said, " I hear and 
obey ;" whereupon he and Aziz arose and left the shop and, taking 
the old woman with them, showed her the place where they 
lodged. Then said Taj al-Muluk to Aziz, " O my brother, 
I have no need of the shop now, having fulfilled my purpose 
of it ; so I give it to thee with all that is in it ; for that thou 
hast come abroad with me and hast left thy native land for my 
sake." Aziz accepted his gift and then they sat conversing, 
while the Prince questioned him of the strange adventures 
which had befallen him, and his companion acquainted him 
with the particulars thereof. Presently, they went to the Wazir 
and, reporting to him^Taj al-Muluk's purpose, asked him, " What 
is to be done ? " " Let us go to the garden," answered he. 
So each and every donned richest clothes and went forth, followed 
by three white slaves to the garden, which they found thick with 
thickets and railing its rills. When they saw the keeper sitting at 
the gate, they saluted him with the Salam and he returned their 
salute. Then the Wazir gave him an hundred gold pieces, saying, 
" Prithee, take this small sum and fetch us somewhat to eat ; for 
we are strangers and I have with me these two lads whom I wish 
to divert." * The Gardener took the sequins and said to them, 
" Enter and amuse yourselves in the garden, for it is all yours ; and 
sit down till I bring you what food you require." So he went to 
the market while the Wazir and Taj al-Muluk and Aziz entered 
the garden. And shortly after leaving for the bazar the Gardener 
returned with a roasted lamb and cotton-white bread, which he 
placed before them, and they ate and drank ; thereupon he served 
up sweetmeats, and they ate of them, and washed their hands and 
sat talking. Presently the Wazir said to the garth-keeper, " Tell 
me about this garden : is it thine or dost thou rent it ? " The 
Shaykh replied, " It doth not belong to me, but to our King's 
daughter, the Princess Dunya." " What be thy monthly wages ? " 
asked the Wazir and he answered, " One dinar and no more." Then 
the Minister looked round about the garden and, seeing in its midst 

1 The beauties of nature seem always to provoke hunger in Orientals, especially Turk?, 
95 good news in Englishmen, 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 33 

a pavilion tall and grand but old and disused, said to the keeper, 
" O elder, I am minded to do here a good work, by which thou shalfe 
remember me." Replied the other, " O my lord, what is the good 
work thou wouldest do?" "Take these three hundred dinars," 
rejoined the Wazir, When the Keeper heard speak of the gold, 
he said, " O my lord, whatso thou wilt, do ! " So the Wazir gave 
him the monies, saying, " Inshallah, we will make a good work in 
this place!" Then they left him and returned to their lodging, 
where they passed the night ; and when it was the next day, the 
Minister sent for a plasterer and a painter and a skilful goldsmith 
and, furnishing them with all the tools they wanted, carried them 
to the garden, where he bade them whitewash the walls of the 
pavilion and decorate it with various kinds of paintings. Moreover 
he sent for gold and lapis lazuli * and said to the painter, " Figure 
me on the wall, at the upper end of this hall, a man-fowler with 
his nets spread and birds falling into them and a female pigeon 
entangled in the meshes by her bill." And when the painter had 
finished his picture on one side, the Wazir said, " Figure me on the 
other side a similar figure and represent the she-pigeon alone in the 
snare and the fowler seizing her and setting the knife to her neck ; 
and draw on the third side-wall, a great raptor clutching the male 
pigeon, her mate, and digging talons into him." The artist did his 
bidding, and when he and the others had finished the designs, they 
received their hire and went away. Then the Wazir and his com- 
panions took leave of the Gardener and returned to their place, 
where they sat down to converse. And Taj al-Muluk said to Aziz, 
" O my brother, recite me some verses : perchance it may broaden 
my breast and dispel my dolours and quench the fire flaming 
in my heart" So Aziz chanted with sweet modulation these 
couplets : 

Whate'er they say of grief to lovers came, o I, weakling I, can single- 

handed claim : 

An seek thou watering-spot, 2 my streaming eyes o Pour floods that thirst would 
quench howe'er it flame : 

Or wouldest view what ruin Love has wrought o With ruthless hands, then see 
this wasted frame. 

1 Pers. " Lajuward" : Arab. "L&uward"; prob. the origin of our "azure/* through 
he Romaic Aaovpiov and the Ital. azzurro; and, more evidently still, of lapis lazuli, 
for which do not see the Dictionaries. 

* Arab. " Maurid," the desert-wells where caravans drink ; also the way to water- wells, 
VOL. Ill C 

34 A If Laylah wa Laylak, 

And his eyes ran over with tears and he repeated these couplets 
also : 

Who loves not swan-neck and gazelle-like eyes, a Yet claims to know Life's 

joys, I say he lies : 
In Love is mystery, none avail to learn Save he who loveth in pure 

loving wise. 
Allah my heart ne'er lighten of this love, * Nor rob the wakefulness 

these eyelids prize. 

Then he changed the mode of song and sang these couplets : 

Ibn Si'na" * in his Canon doth opine o Lovers' best cure is found in 

merry song : 
In meeting lover of a like degree, o Dessert in garden, wine- draughts 

long and strong : 
I chose another who of thee might cure o While Force and Fortune aided 

well and long ; 
But ah ! I learnt Love's mortal ill, wherein o Ibn Sina's recipe is fond and 


After hearing them to the end, Taj al-Muluk was pleased with his 
verses and wondered at his eloquence and the excellence of his 
recitation, saying, " Indeed, thou hast done away with somewhat 
of my sorrow." Then quoth the Wazir, " Of a truth, there occurred 
to those of old what astoundeth those who hear it told." Quoth 
the Prince, " If thou canst recall aught of this kind, prithee let 
us hear thy subtle lines and keep up the talk." So the Minister 
chanted in modulated song these couplets : 

Indeed I deemed thy favours might be bought o By gifts of gold and things 

that joy the sprite ; 
And ignorantly thought thee light-o'-love, o When can thy love lay low 

the highmost might ; 
Until I saw thee choosing one, that one o Loved with all favour, 

crowned with all delight : 
Then wot I thou by sleight canst ne'er be won o And under wing my head I 

hid from sight ; 
And in this nest of passion made my wone, Wherein I nestle morning, 

noon and night. 

So far concerning them ; but as regards the old woman she re- 

1 The famous Avicenna, whom the Hebrews called Aben Sina. The early European 
Arabists, who seem to have learned Arabic through Hebrew, borrowed their corruption, 
and it long kept its place in Southern Europe. 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk ana the Princess Dunya. 35 

mained shut up from the world in her house, till it befel that the 
King's daughter was taken with a desire to divert herself in the 
garden. Now she had never been wont so to do save in company 
with her nurse ; accordingly she sent for her and made friends with 
her and soothed her sorrow, saying, " I wish to go forth to the 
garden, that I may divert myself with the sight of its trees and 
fruits, and broaden my breast with the scent of its flowers." Replied 
the old woman,"! hear and obey; but first I would go to my house, 
and soon I will be with thee." The Princess rejoined, " Go home, 
but be not long absent from me." So the old woman left her and, 
repairing to Taj al-Muluk, said to him, " Get thee ready and don thy 
richest dress and go to the garden and find out the Gardener and 
salute him and then hide thyself therein." " To hear is to obey " 
answered he ; and she agreed with him upon a signal, after which 
she returned to the Lady Dunya. As soon as she was gone, the 
Wazir and Aziz rose and robed Taj al-Muluk in a splendid suit of 
royal raiment worth five thousand dinars, and girt his middle with 
a girdle of gold set with gems and precious metals. Then they 
repaired to the garden and found seated at the gate the Keeper 
who, as soon as he saw the Prince, sprang to his feet and received 
him with all respect and reverence, and opening the gate, said, 
" Enter and take thy pleasure in looking at the garden." Now 
the Gardener knew not that the King's daughter was to visit the 
place that day ; but when Taj al-Muluk had been a little while 
there, he heard a hubbub and ere he could think, out issued the 
eunuchs and damsels by the private wicket. The Gardener seeing 
this came up to the Prince, informed him of her approach and said 
to him, " O my lord, what is to be done ? The Princess Dunya, 
the King's daughter, is here." Replied the Prince, " Fear not, no 
harm shall befal thee ; for I will hide me somewhere about the 
garden." So the Keeper exhorted him to the utmost prudence and 
went away. Presently the Princess entered the garden with her 
damsels and with the old woman, who said to herself, " If these 
eunuchs stay with us, -we shall not attain our end." So quoth she 
to the King's daughter, " O my lady, I have somewhat to tell thee 
which shall ease thy heart/' Quoth the Princess, " Say what thou 
hast to say." " O my lady, rejoined the old woman, " thou hast no 
need of these eunuchs at a time like the present ; nor wilt thou be 
able to divert thyself at thine ease, whilst they are with us ; so 
send them away ; " and the Lady Dunya replied, " Thou speakest 
sooth." Accordingly she dismissed them and presently began to 

36 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

walk about, whilst Taj al-Muluk looked upon her and fed his eyes 
on her beauty and loveliness (but she knew it not) ; and every time 
he gazed at her he fainted by reason of her passing charms. 1 The 
old woman drew her on by converse till they reached the pavilion 
which the Wazir had bidden be decorated, when the Princess entered 
and cast a glance round and perceived the picture of the birds, the 
fowler and the pigeon ; whereupon she cried, " Exalted be Allah ! 
This is the very counterfeit presentment of what I saw in my 
dream." She continued to gaze at the figures of the birds and the 
fowler with his net, admiring the work, and presently she said, " O 
my nurse, I have been wont to blame and hate men, but look now 
at the fowler how he hath slaughtered the she-bird and set free her 
mate ; who was minded to return to her and aid her to escape when 
the bird of prey met him and tore him to pieces."" Now the old 
woman feigned ignorance to her and ceased not to occupy her in 
converse, till they drew near the place where Taj al-Muluk lay 
hidden. Thereupon she signed to him to come out and walk under 
the windows of the pavilion ; and, as the Lady Dunya stood look- 
ing from the casement, behold, her glance fell that way and she saw 
him and noting his beauty of face and form, said to the old woman, 
" O my nurse, whence cometh yonder handsome youth ? " Replied 
the old woman, " I know nothing of him save that I think he must 
be some great King's son, for he attaineth comeliness in excess and 
extreme loveliness. And the Lady Dunya fell in love with him 
to distraction ; the spells which bound her were loosed and her 
reason was overcome by his beauty and grace ; and his fine stature 
and proportions strongly excited her desires sexual. So she said, 
" O my nurse ! this is indeed a handsome youth ; " and the old 
woman replied, " Thou sayest sooth, O my lady," and signed to 
Taj al-Muluk to go home. And though desire and longing 
flamed in him and he was distraught for love, yet he went 
away and took leave of the Gardener and returned to his place, 
obeying the old woman and not daring to cross her. When he 
told the Wazir and Aziz that she had signed him to depart, they 
exhorted him to patience, saying, "Did not the ancient dame 
know that there was an object to be gained by thy departure, she 

1 According to the Hindus there are ten stages of love-sickness: (i) Love of the 
eyes ; (2) Attraction of the Manas or mind ; (3) Birth of desire ; (4) Loss of sleep ; 
(5) Loss of flesh : (6) Indifference to objects of sense ; (7) Loss of shame; (8) Distrac- 
tion of thought ; (9) Loss of consciousness ; and (10) Death. 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya. 37 

had not signalled thee to return home." Such was the case with 
Taj al-Muluk, the Wazir and Aziz; but as regards the King's 
daughter, the Lady Dunya, desire and passion redoubled upon 
her; she was overcome with love and longing and she said to 
her nurse, " I know not how I shall manage a meeting with this 
youth, but through thee." Exclaimed the old woman, " I take 
refuge with Allah from Satan the stoned ! Thou who art averse 
from men ! How cometh it then that thou art thus afflicted with 
hope and fear of this young man ? Yet, by Allah, none is worthy 
of thy youth but he." Quoth the Lady Dunya, " O my nurse, 
further my cause and help me to foregather with him, and thou 
shalt have of me a thousand dinars and a dress of honour worth 
as much more : but if thou aid me not to come at him, I am a dead 
woman in very sooth." Replied the ancient dame, " Go to thy 
palace and leave me to devise means for bringing you twain 
together. I will throw away my life to content you both !" So 
the Lady Dunya returned to her palace, and the old woman betook 
herself to Taj al-Muluk who, when he saw her, rose to receive her 
and entreated her with respect and reverence making her sit by his 
side. Then she said, " The trick hath succeeded," and told him all 
that had passed between herself and the Princess. He asked her, 
"When is our meeting to be ?"; and she answered, "To-morrow." 
So he gave her a thousand dinars and a dress of like value, and 
she took them and stinted not walking till she returned to her 
mistress, who said to her, " O my nurse ! what news of the be- 
loved ? " Replied she, " I have learnt where he liveth and wiH 
bring him to thee to-morrow." At this the Princess was glad and 
gave her a thousand dinars and a dress worth as much more, and 
she took them and returned to her own place, where she passed the 
night till morning. Then she went to Taj al-Muluk and dress- 
ing him in woman's clothes, said to him, " Follow me and sway 
from side to side * as thou steppest, and hasten not thy pace nor 
take heed of any who speaketh to thee." And after thus charging 
him she went out, and the Prince followed her in woman's attire 
and she continued to charge and encourage him by the way, that 
he might not be afraid ; nor ceased they walking till they came to 
the Palace-gate. She entered and the Prince after her, and she 

1 We should call this walk of "Arab ladies" a waddle: I have never seen it in 
Europe except amongst the trading classes of Trieste, who have a "wriggle" of theit 

3 8 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

led him on, passing through doors and vestibules, till they had 
passed seven doors. 1 As they approached the seventh, she said 
to him, " Hearten thy heart and when I call out to thee and 
say : O damsel pass on ! do not slacken thy pace, but advance 
as if about to run. When thou art in the vestibule, look to thy 
left and thou wilt see a saloon with doors : count five doors and 
enter the sixth, for therein is thy desire." Asked Taj al-Muluk, 
" And whither wilt thou go ? " ; and she answered, " Nowhere shall 
I go except that perhaps I may drop behind thee, and the Chief 
Eunuch may detain me to chat with him/' She walked on (and 
he behind her) till she reached the door where the Chief Eunuch 
was stationed and he, seeing Taj al-Muluk with her dressed as a 
slave-girl, said to the old woman, " What business hath this girl 
with thee ? " Replied she, " This is a slave-girl of whom the Lady 
Dunya hath heard that she is skilled in different kinds of work and 
she hath a mind to buy her." "Rejoined the Eunuch, " I know neither 
slave-girls nor anyone else ; and none shall enter here without my 

searching according to the King's commands." And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

ftfofo fojen ft foas tje l^unturefc anfc fnrtB~fiftf) Xfg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Cham- 
berlain Eunuch cried to the old woman, " I know neither slave-girl 
nor anyone else ; and none shall enter here without my searching 
him according to the King's commands." Then quoth she, feigning 
to be angry, " I thought thee a man of sense and good breeding ; 
but, if thou be changed, I will let the Princess know of it and tell 
her how thou hinderest her slave-girl ;" and she cried out to Taj al- 
Muluk, saying, "Pass on, O damsel !" So he passed on into the vesti- 
bule as she bade him, whilst the Eunuch was silent and said no more. 
The Prince counted five doors and entered the sixth where he found 
the Princess Dunya standing and awaiting him. As soon as she saw 
him, she knew him and clasped him to her breast, and he clasped 
her to his bosom. Presently the old woman came in to them, 
having made a pretext to dismiss the Princess's slave-girls for fear 
of disgrace ; and the Lady Dunya said to her, " Be thou our door- 
keeper!" So she and Taj al-Muluk abode alone together and 
ceased not kissing and embracing and twining leg with leg till 

1 In our idiom six doors. 

Tale of TAJ al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyd. 39 

dawn. * When day drew near, she left him and, shutting the door 
upon him, passed into another chamber, where she sat down as 
was her wont, whilst her slave-women came in to her, and she 
attended to their affairs and conversed with them. Then she said 
to them, " Go forth from me now, for I wish to amuse myself in 
privacy." So they withdrew and she betook herself to Taj 
al-Muluk, and the old woman brought them food, of which they 
ate and returned to amorous dalliance till dawn. Then the door 
was locked upon him as on the day before ; and they ceased not 
to do thus for a whole month. This is how it fared with Taj 
al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya ; but as regards the Wazir and 
Aziz when they found that the Prince had gone to the Palace of 
the King's daughter and there delayed all the while, they concluded 
that he would never return from it and that he was lost for ever ; 
and Aziz said to the Wazir, " O my father, what shall we do ? " 
He replied, " O my son, this is a difficult matter, and except we 
return to his sire and tell him, he will blame us therefor." So 
they made ready at once and forthright set out for the Green 
Land and the Country of the Two Columns, and sought Sulayman 
Shah's capital. And they traversed the valleys night and day till 
they went in to the King, and acquainted him with what had 
befallen his son and how from the time he entered the Princess's 
Palace they had heard no news of him. At this the King was as 
though the Day of Doom had dawned for him and regret was sore 
upon him, and he proclaimed a Holy War 1 throughout his realm. 
After which he sent forth his host without the town and pitched 
tents for them and took up his abode in his pavilion, whilst the 
levies came from all parts of the kingdom ; for his subjects loved 
him by reason of his great justice and beneficence. Then he 
marched with an army walling the horizon, and departed in quest 
of his son. Thus far concerning them ; but as regards Taj 
al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya the two remained as they were 
half a year's time, whilst every day they redoubled in mutual 
affection ; and love and longing and passion and desire so pressed 
upon Taj al-Muluk, that at last he opened his mind and said to 
her, " Know, O beloved of my heart and vitals, that the longer 

1 They refrained from the highest enjoyment, intending to many. 

2 Arab. " Jihdd," lit. fighting against something ; Koranically, fighting against infidels 
.*. non-believers in Al-Islam (chapt. Ix. i). But the "Mujhidun" who wage such 
vrai are forbidden to act aggressively (ii. 186). Here it is a war to save a son. 

4 A If Laylah wa Lay I an. 

I abide with thee, the more love and longing and passion and 
desire increase on me, for that I have not yet fulfilled the whole 
of my wish." Asked she, " What then wouldst thou have, O light 
of my eyes and fruit of my vitals ? If thou desire aught beside 
kissing and embracing and entwining of legs with legs, do what 
pleaseth thee ; for, by Allah, no partner hath any part in us." l 
But he answered " It is not that I wish : I would fain acquaint thee 
with my true story. Know, then, that I am no merchant, nay, 
I am a King the son of a King, and my father's name is the 
supreme King Sulayman Shah, who sent his Wazir ambassador to 
thy father, to demand thee in marriage for me, but when the news 
came to thee thou wouldst not consent. Then he told her his 
past from first to last, nor is there any avail in a twice-told tale, 
and he added, "And now I wish to return to my father, that he 
may send an ambassador to thy sire, to demand thee in 
wedlock for me, so we may be at ease." When she heard 
these words, she joyed with great joy because it suited with her 
own wishes, and they passed the night on this understanding. 
But it so befel by the decree of Destiny that sleep overcame them 
that night above all nights and they remained till the sun had 
risen. Now at this hour, King Shahriman was sitting on his 
cushion of estate, with his Emirs and Grandees before him, when 
the Syndic of the goldsmiths presented himself between his hands, 
carrying a large box. And he advanced and opening it in presence 
of the King, brought out therefrom a casket of fine work worth an 
hundred thousand dinars, for that which was therein of precious 
stones, rubies and emeralds beyond the competence of any sovereign 
on earth to procure. When the King saw this, he marvelled at 
its beauty ; and, turning to the Chief Eunuch (him with whom the 
old woman had had to do), said to him, " O Kafur, 2 take this casket 
and wend with it to the Princess Dunya." The Castrato took the 
casket and repairing to the apartment of the King's daughter 
found the door shut and the old woman lying asleep on the 
threshold ; whereupon said he, " What ! sleeping at this hour ? " 
When the old woman heard the Eunuch's voice she started from 
sleep and was terrified and said to him, " Wait till I fetch the key.'* 

1 The lady proposing extreme measures is characteristic : Egyptians hold, and justly 
enough, that their women are more amorous than men. 

* " O Camphor," an antiphrase before noticed. The vulgar also say " Ya Talji "=r 
O snowy (our snowball) , the polite " Ya Abu Sumrah ! " = O father of brownness. 

Tale of Taj al-Mutik and the Princess Dunya. 41 

Then she went forth and fled for her life. Such was her case ; 
but as regards the Epicene he, seeing her alarm, lifted the door 
off its hinge-pins, 1 and entering found the Lady Dunya with 
her arms round the neck of Taj al-Muluk and both fast asleep. 
At this sight he was confounded and was preparing to return to 
the King, when the Princess awoke, and seeing him, was terrified 
and changed colour and waxed pale, and said to him, " O Kafur^ 
veil thou what Allah hath veiled ! " 2 But he replied, " I cannot 
conceal aught from the King"; and, locking the door on them, 
returned to Shahriman, who asked him, " Hast thou given the 
casket to the Princess ? " Answered the Eunuch, " Take the casket, 
here it is for I cannot conceal aught from thee. Know that I found 
a handsome young man by the side of the Princess and they two 
asleep in one bed and in mutual embrace." The King commanded 
them to be brought into the presence and said to them, " What 
manner of thing is this ? " and, being violently enraged, seized a 
dagger and was about to strike Taj al-Muluk with it, when the 
Lady Dunya threw herself upon him and said to her father, " Slay 
me before thou slayest him." The King reviled her and com- 
manded her to be taken back to her chamber : then he turned to 
Taj al-Muluk and said to him, " Woe to thee ! Whence art thou ? 
Who is thy father and what hath emboldened thee to debauch my 
daughter ? " Replied the Prince, " Know, O King, that if thou 
put me to death, thou art a lost man, and thou and all in thy 
dominions will repent the deed," Quoth the King, " How so ? "; 
and quoth Taj al-Muluk, " Know that I am the son of King 
Sulayman Shah, and ere thou knowest it, he will be upon thee 
with his horse and foot." When King Shahriman heard these 
words he would have deferred killing Taj al-Muluk and would 
rather have put him in prison, till he should look into the truth of 
his words ; but his Wazir said to him, " O King of the Age, it is 
my opinion that thou make haste to slay this gallows-bird who 

1 i.e. which fit into sockets in the threshold and lintel and act as hinges. These 
hinges have caused many disputes about how they were fixed, for instance in caverns 
without moveabie lintel or threshold. But one may observe that the upper projections 
are longer than the lower and that the door never fits close above ; so by lifting it up the 
inferior pins are taken out of the holes. It is the oldest form and the only form known 
to the Ancients. In Egyptian the hinge is called Akab = the heel, hence the proverb 
Wakaf al-bdb aid 'akabih ; the door standeth on its heel j i.e. every thing in proper place. 

* Hence the addresses to the Deity : Yd Sdtir and Yd Sattdr O Thou who veilest 
the sins of Thy Servants ! said e.g., when a woman is falling from her donkey, etc. 

4 2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

dares debauch the daughters of Kings." So the King cried to the. 
headsman, " Strike off his head ; for he is a traitor." Accordingly, 
the headsman took him and bound him fast and raised his hand to 
the Emirs, signing to consult them, a first and a second signal, 
thinking thereby to gain time in this matter j 1 but the King cried 
in anger to him, " How long wilt thou consult others ? If thou 
consult them again I will strike off thine own head." So the 
headsman raised his hand till the hair of his armpit showed, and 

was about to smite his neck And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fojjen it foas tfie f^unfcreti anfc {H'rtp=sfxt!) ISTfg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the heads- 
man raised his hand to smite off his head when behold, loud cries 
arose and the folk closed their shops ; whereupon the King said to 
the headsman, "Wait awhile," and despatched one to learn the 
news. The messenger fared forth and presently returned and re- 
ported, " I saw an army like the dashing sea with its clashing 
surge : and their horses curvetting till earth trembleth with the 
tramp; and I know no more of them." When the King heard 
this, he was confounded and feared for his realm lest it should be 
torn from him ; so he turned to his Minister and said, " Have not 
any of our army gone forth to meet this army ? " But ere he had 
done speaking, his Chamberlains entered with messengers from 
the King who was approaching, and amongst them the Wazir 
who had accompanied Taj al-Muluk. They began by saluting the 
King, who rose to receive them and bade them draw near, and 
asked the cause of their coming ; whereupon the Minister came 
forward from amongst them and stood before him and said, 
" Know that he who hath come down upon thy realm is no King 
like unto the Kings of yore and the Sultans that went before." 
" And who is he ? " asked Shahriman, and the Wazir answered, 
" He is the Lord of justice and loyalty, the bruit of whose mag- 
nanimity the caravans have blazed abroad, the Sultan Sulayman 
Shah, Lord of the Green Land and the Two Columns and the 
Mountains of Ispahan ; he who loveth justice and equity, and 
hateth oppression and iniquity. And he saith to thee that his son 

1 A necessary precaution, for the headsman who would certainly lose his own head by 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunya. 43 

is with thee and in thy city ; his son, his heart's very core and the 
fruit of his loins, and if he find him in safety, his aim is won and 
thou shalt have thanks and praise ; but if he have been lost from 
thy realm or if aught of evil have befallen him, look thou for ruin 
and the wasting of thy reign ! for this thy city shall become a wold 
wherein the raven shall croak. Thus have I done my errand to 
thee and peace be with thee ! " Now when King Shahriman heard 
from the messenger these words, his heart was troubled and he 
feared for his kingdom : so he cried out for his Grandees and 
Ministers, Chamberlains and Lieutenants ; and, when they appeared, 
he said to them, "Woe to you! Go down and search for the 
youth." Now the Prince was still under the headsman's hands, 
but he was changed by the fright he had undergone. Presently, 
the Wazir, chancing to glance around, saw the Prince on the rug 
of blood and recognised him ; so he arose and threw himself upon 
him, and so did the other envoys. Then they proceeded to loose 
his bonds and they kissed his hands and feet, whereupon Taj al- 
Muluk opened his eyes and, recognising his father's Wazir and 
his friend Aziz, fell down a-fainting for excess of delight in them. 
When King Shahriman made sure that the coming of this army 
was indeed because of this youth, he was confounded and feared 
with great fear ; so he went up to Taj al-Muluk and, kissing his 
head, said to him, " O my son, be not wroth with me, neither 
blame the sinner for his sin : but have compassion on my grey 
hairs, and waste not my realm." Whereupon Taj al-Muluk drew 
near unto him and kissing his hand, replied, " No harm shall come 
to thee, for indeed thou art to me as my father ; but look that 
nought befal my beloved, the Lady Dunya ! " Rejoined the 
King, " O my lord ! fear not for her ; naught but joy shall betide 
her;" and he went on to excuse himself and made his peace with 
Sulayman Shah's Wazir, to whom he promised much money, if 
he would conceal from the King what he had seen. Then he bade 
his chief Officers take the Prince with them and repair to the 
Hammam and clothe him in one of the best of his own suits and 
bring him back speedily. So they obeyed his bidding and bore 
him to the bath and clad him in the clothes which King Shahriman 
had set apart for him, and brought him back to the presence- 
chamber. When he entered the King rose to receive him and 
made all his Grandees stand in attendance on him. Then Taj al- 
Muluk sat down to converse with his father's Wazir and with Aziz, 
and he acquainted them with what had befallen him ; after which 

44 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

they said to him, " During that delay we returned to thy father 
and gave him to know that thou didst enter the Palace of the 
Princess and didst not return therefrom ; and thy case seemed 
doubtful to us. But when thy sire heard of this he mustered his 
forces ; then we came to this land and indeed our coming hath 
brought to thee relief in extreme case and to us great joy." Quoth 
he, " Good fortune hath attended your every action, first and last." 
While this was doing King Shahriman went in to his daughter, 
Princess Dunya, and found her wailing and weeping for Taj al- 
Muluk. Moreover, she had taken a sword and fixed the hilt in 
the ground and had set the point to the middle of her heart 
between her breasts ; and she bent over the blade saying, " Needs 
must I slay myself and not survive my beloved." When her 
father entered and saw her in this case, he cried out to her, saying, 
" O Princess of kings' daughters, hold thy hand and have ruth on 
thy sire and the folk of thy realm ! " Then he came up to her and 
continued, " Let it not be that an ill thing befal thy father for thy 
sake ! " And he told her the whole tale that her lover was the son 
of King Sulayman Shah and sought her to wife and he added, 
V The marriage waiteth only for thy consent/' Thereat she smiled 
and said, " Did I not tell thee that he was the son of a Sultan ? 
By Allah, there is no help for it but that I let him crucify thee 
on a bit of wood worth two pieces of silver ! " Replied the King, 
"O my daughter, have mercy on me, so Allah have mercy on 
thee ! " Rejoined she, " Up with you and make haste and go 
bring him to me without delay." Quoth the King, " On my head 
and eyes be it ! "; and he left her and, going in hastily to Taj al- 
Muluk, repeated her words in his ear. 1 So he arose and accom- 
panied the King to the Princess, and when she caught sight of 
her lover, she took hold of him and embraced him in her father's 
presence and hung upon him and kissed him, saying, " Thou hast 
desolated me by thine absence ! " Then she turned to her father 
and said, " Sawest thou ever any that could do hurt to the like of 
this beautiful being, who is moreover a King, the son of a King, 
and of the free-born, 2 guarded against ignoble deeds ? " There- 

1 The passage has also been rendered, "and rejoiced him by what he said" 
(Lane i, 600). 

2 Arab. u Hurr" = noble, independent (opp. to 'Abd=.a servile) often used to 
express animse nobilitas as ctycv^s in Acts xvii. n; where the Berceans were "more 
noble" than the Thessalonians. The Princess means that the Prince would not lie 
with her before marriage. 

Tale of Tdj al-Muluk and the Princess Dunyb. 45 

upon King Shahriman went out shutting the door on them with 
his own hand ; and he returned to the Wazir and to the other 
envoys of Sulayman Shah and bade them inform their King that 
his son was in health and gladness and enjoying all delight of 
life with his beloved. So they returned to King Sulayman and 
acquainted him with this ; whereupon King Shahriman ordered 
largesse of money and vivers to the troops of King Sulayman 
Shah ; and, when they had conveyed all he had commanded, he 
bade be brought out an hundred coursers and an hundred drome- 
daries and an hundred white slaves and an hundred concubines 
and an hundred black slaves and an hundred female slaves ; 
all of which he forwarded to the King as a present Then he 
took horse, with his Grandees and Chief Officers, and rode out 
of the city in the direction of the King's camp. As soon as 
Sultan Sulayman Shah knew of his approach, he rose and 
advanced many paces to meet him. Now the Wazir and Aziz 
had told him all the tidings, whereat he rejoiced and cried, 
41 Praise be to Allah who hath granted the dearest wish of 
my son!" Then King Sulayman took King Shahriman in his 
arms and seated him beside himself on the royal couch, where 
they conversed awhile and had pleasure in each other's conversa- 
tion. Presently food was set before them, and they ate till they 
were satisfied ; and sweetmeats and dried fruits were brought, and 
they enjoyed their dessert And after a while came to them Taj 
al-Muluk, richly dressed and adorned, and when his father saw 
him, he stood up and embraced him and kissed him. Then all 
who were sitting rose to do him honour ; and the two Kings seated 
him between them and they sat conversing a while, after which 
quoth King Sulayman Shah to King Shahriman, " I desire to have 
the marriage-contract between my son and thy daughter drawn up 
in the presence of witnesses, that the wedding may be made public, 
even as is the custom of Kings." " I hear and I obey," quoth 
King Shahriman and thereon summoned the Kazi and the wit- 
nesses, who came and wrote out the marriage-contract between Taj 
al-Muluk and the Lady Dunya. Then they gave bakhshish J of 
money and sweetmeats ; and lavished incense and essences ; and 
indeed it was a day of joy and gladness and all the grandees and 
soldiers rejoiced therein. Then King Shahriman proceeded to 
dower and equip his daughter ; and Taj al-Muluk said to his sire, 

1 The Persian word is now naturalized as Anglo- Egyptian. 

46 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

" Of a truth, this young man Aziz is of the generous and hath done 
me a notable service, having borne weariness with me ; and he 
hath travelled with me and hath brought me to my desire. He 
ceased never to show sufferance with me and exhort me to patience 
till I accomplished my intent ; and now he hath abided with us 
two whole years, and he cut off from his native land. So now I 
purpose to equip him with merchandise, that he may depart hence 
with a light heart; for his country is nearhand." Replied his 
father, " Right is thy rede ; " so they made ready an hundred loads 
of the richest stuffs and the most costly, and Taj al-Muluk pre< 
sented them with great store of money to Aziz, and farewelled 
him, saying, " O my brother and my true friend ! take these loads 
and accept them from me by way of gift and token of affection, 
and go in peace to thine own country." Aziz accepted the presents 
and kissing the ground between the hands of the Prince and his 
father bade them adieu. Moreover, Taj al-Muluk mounted and 
accompanied him three miles on his homeward way as a proof of 
amity, after which Aziz conjured him to turn back, saying, " By 
Allah, O my master, were it not for my mother, I never would part 
from thee i But, good my lord ! leave me not without news of 
thee." Replied Taj al-Muluk, " So be it ! " Then the Prince re- 
turned to the city and Aziz journeyed on till he came to his 
native town ; and he entered it and ceased not faring till he went 
in to his mother and found that she had built him a monument 
in the midst of the house and used to visit it continually. When 
he entered, he saw her with hair dishevelled and dispread over 
the tomb, weeping and repeating these lines : 

Indeed I'm strong to bear whate'er befal ; o But weak to bear such 

parting's dire mischance : 
What heart estrangement of the friend can bear ? o What strength withstand 

assault of severance? 

Then sobs burst from her breast, and she recited also these 
couplets : 

What's this ? I pass by tombs, and fondly greet o My friends' last homes, 

but send they no reply : 
For saith each friend, " Reply how can I make o When pledged to clay 

and pawned to stones I lie? 
arth has consumed my charms and I forget o Thy love, from kith and 

kin poor banisht I." 

While she was thus, behold, Aziz came in to her and when she 

Tale of Taj al-Muluk and tlie Princess Dunya. 47 

saw him, she fell down, fainting for very joy. He sprinkled water 
on her face till she revived and rising, took him in her arms and 
strained him to her breast, whilst he in like manner embraced 
her. Then he greeted her and she greeted him, and she asked 
the reason of his long absence, whereupon he told her all that 
had befallen him from first to last and informed her how Taj 
al-Muluk had given him an hundred loads of monies and stuffs. 
At this she rejoiced, and Aziz abode with his mother in his native 
town, weeping for what mishaps had happened to him with the 
daughter of Dalilah the Wily One, even her who had castrated ! him. 
Such was the case with Aziz ; but as regards Taj al-Muluk he went 
in unto his beloved, the Princess Dunya, and abated her maiden- 
head. Then King Shahriman proceeded to equip his daughter foF 
her journey with her husband and father in-law, and bade bring 
them provaunt and presents and rarities. So they loaded their 
beasts and set forth, whilst King Shahriman escorted them, by way 
of farewell, three days' journey on their way, till King Shah Sulay- 
man conjured him to return. So he took leave of them and turned 
back, and Taj al-Muluk and his wife and father fared forwards 
night and day, with their troops, till they drew near their capital. 
As soon as the news of their coming spread abroad, the folk 

decorated for them the city, And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jlofo fo&m ft foas t&e plunfcreDr a.nfc tjfjirtg-sebentj Jlfg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Shah 
Sulayman drew near his capital, the folk decorated the city for him 
and for his son. So they entered in state and the King, sitting on 
his throne with his son by his side, gave alms and largesse and 
loosed all who were in his jails. Then he held a second bridal for 
his son, and the sound of the singing-women and players upon 
instruments was never silent for a whole month, and the tire- 
women stinted not to adorn the Lady Dunya and display her in 
various dresses ; and she tired not of the displaying nor did the 
women weary of gazing on her. Then Taj al-Muluk, after having 
foregathered awhile with his father and mother, took up his sojourn 
with his wife, and they abode in all joyance of life and in fairest for- 

1 Arab. *' khassat hu " = removed his testicles, gelded hini. 

48 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

tune, till there came to them the Destroyer of all delights. 1 Now 
when the Wazir Dandan had ended the tale of Taj al-Muluk and the 
Lady Dunya, Zau al-Makan said to him, " Of a truth, it is the like 
of thee who lighten the mourner's heart and who deserve to be the 
boon-companions of Kings and to guide their policy in the right 
way." All this befel and they were still besieging Constantinople, 
where they lay four whole years, till they yearned after their native 
land ; and the troops murmured, being weary of vigil and besieg- 
ing and the endurance of fray and foray by night and by day. 
Then King Zau al-Makan summoned Rustam and Bahram and 
Tarkash, and when they were in presence bespoke them thus, 
" Know that we have lain here all these years and we have not won 
to our wish ; nay, we have but gained increase of care and concern ; 
for indeed we came, thinking to take our man-bote for King Omar 
bin al-Nu'uman and in so doing my brother Sharrkan was slain ; 
so is our sorrow grown to sorrows twain and our affliction to 
afflictions twain. All this came of the old woman Zat al-Dawahi, 
for it was she who slew the Sultan in his kingdom and carried off 
his wife, the Queen Sophia ; nor did this suffice her, but she must 
put another cheat on us and cut the throat of my brother Sharrkan : 
and indeed I have bound myself and sworn by the solemnest oaths 
that there is no help but I take blood-wit from her. What say ye ? 
Ponder my address and answer me." Then they bowed their heads 
and answered, " It is for the Wazir Dandan to opine." So the 
Minister came forward and said, " Know O King of the Age ! it 
booteth us nought to tarry here ; and 'tis my counsel that we 
strike camp and return to our own country, there to abide for a 
certain time and after that we should return for a razzia upon the 
worshippers of idols." Replied the King, " This rede is right , for 
indeed the folk weary for a sight of their families, and I am another 
who is also troubled with yearning after my son Kanmakan and 
my brother's daughter Kuzia Fakan, for she is in Damascus and 
I know not how is her case." When the troops heard this report, 
they rejoiced and blessed the Wazir Dandan. Then the King bade 
the crier call the retreat after three days. They fell to preparing 
for the march, and, on the fourth day, they beat the big drums and 
unfurled the banners and the army set forth, the Wazir Dandan in 
the van and the King riding in the mid-battle, with the Grand 

1 Here ends the compound tale of Taj al-Muluk cum Aziz plus Azizah, and we 
return to the history of King Omar's sons. 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 49 

Chamberlain by his side ; and all journeyed without ceasing, night 
and day, till they reached Baghdad city. The folk rejoiced in their 
return, and care and fear ceased from them whilst the stay-at- 
homes met the absentees and each Emir betook him to his 
own house. As for Zau al-Makan he marched up to the Palace 
and went in to his son Kanmakan, who had now reached the 
age of seven ; and who used to go down to the weapon-plain and 
ride. As soon as the King was rested of his journey, he entered 
the Hammam with his son, and returning, seated himself on his 
sofa of state, whilst the Wazir Dandan took up his station before 
him and the Emirs and Lords of the realm presented themselves 
and stood in attendance upon him. Then Zau al-Makan called for 
his comrade, the Fireman, who had befriended him in his wander- 
ings ; and, when he came into presence, the King rose to do him 
honour and seated him by his side. Now he had acquainted the 
Wazir with all the kindness and good turns which the Stoker had 
done him ; and he found that the wight had waxed fat and burly 
with rest and good fare, so that his neck was like an elephant's 
throat and his face like a dolphin's belly. Moreover, he was grown 
dull of wit, for that he had never stirred from his place ; so at first 
he knew not the King by his aspect. But Zau al-Makan came 
up to him smiling in his face, and greeted him after the friendliest 
fashion, saying, " How soon hast thou forgotten me ? " With this 
the Fireman roused himself and, looking steadfastly at Zau al- 
Makan, made sure that he knew him ; whereupon he sprang hastily 
to his feet and exclaimed, " O my friend, who hath made thee 
Sultan ? " Then Zau al-Makan laughed at him and the Wazir, 
coming up to him expounded the whole story to him and said, " In 
good sooth he was thy brother and thy friend ; and now he is King 
of the land and needs must thou get great good of him. So I 
charge thee, if he say : Ask a boon of me, ask not but for some 
great thing; for thou art very dear to him." Quoth the Fireman, 
4t I fear lest, if I ask of him aught, he may not choose to give it or 
may not be able to grant it." Quoth the Wazir, " Have no care ; 
whatsoever thou askest he will give thee." Rejoined the Stoker, 
" By Allah, I must at once ask of him a thing that is in my 
thought : every night I dream of it and implore Almighty Allah 
to vouchsafe it to me." Said the Wazir, " Take heart ; by Allah, 
if thou ask of him the government of Damascus, in place of his 
brother, he would surely give it thee and make thee Governor." 
With this the Stoker rose to his feet and Zau al-Makan signed to 
VOL. in. D 

5O A If Laylah wa Lay la h. 

him to sit ; but he refused, saying, " Allah forfend ! The days are 
gone by of my sitting in thy presence." Answered the Sultan, 
" Not so, they endure even now. Thou wast in very deed the 
cause that I am at present alive and, by Allah, whatever thing 
most desired thou requirest of me, I will give that same to thee. 
But ask thou first of Allah, and then of me ! " He said, " O my 
lord, I fear" " Fear not," quoth the Sultan. He continued, " I 
fear to ask aught and that thou shouldst refuse it to me and it is 
only " At this the King laughed and replied, " If thou require 
of me the half of my kingdom I would share it with thee : so ask 
what thou wilt and leave talking." Repeated the Fireman " I 
fear-" " Don't fear," quoth the King. He went on, " I fear lest 
I ask a thing and thou be not able to grant it." Upon this the 
Sultan waxed wroth and cried, " Ask what thou wilt." Then said 
he, " I ask, first of Allah and then of thee, that thou write me 
a patent of Syndicate over all the Firemen of the baths in the 
Holy City, Jerusalem." The Sultan and all present laughed and 
Zau al-Makan said," Ask something more than this." He replied, 
" O my lord, said I not I feared that thou wouldst not choose to 
give me what I should ask or that thou be not able to grant it ? " 
Therewith the Wazir signed him with his foot once and twice and 
thrice, and every time he began, " I ask of thee " Quoth the 
Sultan, " Ask and be speedy." So he said, " I ask thee to make 
me Chief of the Scavengers in the Holy City of Jerusalem, or in 
Damascus- town." Then all those who were present fell on their 
backs with laughter and the Wazir beat him ; whereupon he 
turned to the Minister and said to him, "What art thou that thou 
shouldest beat me ? 'Tis no fault of mine : didst thou not thyself 
bid me ask some important thing ? " And he added, " Let me go 
to my own land." With this, the Sultan knew that he was jesting 
and took patience with him awhile ; then turned to him and said, 
" O my brother, ask of me some important thing, befitting our 
dignity." So the Stoker said, " O King of the Age, I ask first of 
Allah and then of thee, that thou make me Viceroy of Damascus 
in the place of thy brother ;" and the King replied, " Allah granteth 
thee this." Thereupon the Fireman kissed ground before him 
and he bade set him a chair in his rank and vested him with a 
viceroy's habit. Then he wrote him a patent and sealed it with 
his own seal, and said to the Wazir Dandan, " None shall go with 
him but thou ; and when thou makest the return journey, do thou 
bring with thee my brother's daughter, Kuzia Fakan." " Hearken- 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and kis Sons. 5* 

ing and obedience," answered the Minister ; and* taking the Fire- 
man, went down with him and made ready for the march. Thea 
the King* appointed for the Stoker servants and suite, and gave 
him a new litter and a princely equipage and said to the Emirs, 
" Whoso loveth me, let him honour this man and offer him a hand- 
some present." So each and every of the Emirs brought him his 
gift according to his competence ; and the King named him Zibl 
Khdn, 1 and conferred on him the honourable surname of al- 
Mujahid. 2 As soon as the gear was ready, he went up with the 
Wazir Dandan to the King, that he might take leave of him and 
ask his permission to depart. The King rose to him and em- 
braced him, and charged him to do justice between his sub- 
jects and bade him make ready for fight against the Infidels 
after two years. Then they took leave of each other and the 
King, 3 the Fighter for the Faith hight Zibl Khan, having been 
again exhorted by Zau al-Makan to deal fairly with his subjects, 
set out on his journey, after the Emirs had brought him Mamelukes 
and eunuchs, even to five thousand in number, who rode after him. 
The Grand Chamberlain also took horse, as did Bahram, captain 
of the Daylamites, and Rustam, captain of the Persians, and 
Tarkash, captain of the Arabs, who attended to do him service ; 
and they ceased not riding with him three days' journey by way of 
honour. Then, taking their leave of him, they returned to Baghdad 
and the Sultan Zibl Khan and the Wazir Dandan fared on, with 
their suite and troops, till they drew near Damascus Now news 
was come, upon the wings of birds, to the notables of Damascus, 
that King Zau al-Makan had made Sultan over Damascus a 
King named Zibl Khan and surnamed Al-Mujahid ; so when he 
reached the city he found it dressed in his honour and everyone in 
the place came out to gaze on him. The new Sultan entered Da- 
mascus in a splendid progress and went up to the citadel, where he 
sat down upon his chair of state, whilst the Wazir Dandan stood in 
attendance on him, to acquaint him with the ranks of the Emirs 

1 "Zibl" popularly pronounced Zabal, means " dung." Khan is "Chief," as has 
been noticed; "Zabbal," which Torrens renders literally "dung-drawer," is one who 
feeds the Hammam with bois-de-vache, etc. 

2 i.*. one who fights the Jihad or "Holy War": it is equivalent to our "good 

3 Arab. "Malik." Azud al-Daulah, a Sultan or regent under the Abbaside Caliph" 
Al-Tai li 'llah (regn. A.H. 363-381) was the first to take the title of " Malik." The 
latter in poetry is still written Malik. 

52 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

and their stations. Then the Grandees came in to him and 'kissed 
hands and called down blessings on him. The new King, Zibl 
Khan, received them graciously and bestowed on them dresses of 
honour and various presents and bounties ; after which he opened 
the treasuries and gave largesse to the troops, great and small. 
Then he governed and did justice and proceeded to equip the 
Lady Kuzia Fakan, daughter of King Sharrkan, appointing her a 
litter of silken stuff. Moreover he furnished the Wazir Dandan 
equally well for the return journey and offered him a gift of coin ; 
but he refused, saying, " Thou art near the time appointed by the 
King, and haply thou wilt have need of money, or after this we 
may send to seek of thee funds for the Holy War or what not." 
Now when the Wazir was ready to march, Sultan al-Mujahid 
mounted to bid the Minister farewell and brought Kuzia Fakan to 
him, and made her enter the litter and sent with her ten damsels 
to do her service. Thereupon they set forward, whilst King 
" Fighter for the Faith " returned to his government that he might 
order affairs and get ready his munitions of war, awaiting such 
time as King Zau al-Makan should send a requisition to him. 
Such was the case with Sultan Zibl Khan, but as regards the Wazir 
Dandan, he ceased not faring forward and finishing off the stages, 
in company with Kuzia Fakan till they came to Ruhbah * after a 
month's travel and thence pushed on, till he drew near Baghdad. 
Then he sent to announce his arrival to King Zau al-Makan who, 
when he heard this, took horse and rode out to meet him. The 
Wazir Dandan would have dismounted, but the King conjured 
him not to do so and urged his steed till he came up to his side. 
Then he questioned him of Zibl Khan hight Al-Mujahid, whereto 
the Wazir replied that he was well and that he had brought witli 
him Kuzia Fakan the daughter of his brother. At this the King 
rejoiced and said to Dandan, " Down with thee and rest thee from 
the fatigue of the journey for three days, after which come to me 
again." Replied the Wazir, " With joy and gratitude," and betook 
himself to his own house, whilst the King rode up to his Palace 
and went in to his brother's daughter, Kuzia Fakan, a girl of eight 
years old. When he saw her, he rejoiced in her and sorrowed for 
her sire ; then he bade make for her clothes and gave her splendid 
jewelry and ornaments, and ordered she be lodged with his son 
Kanmakan in one place. So they both grew up the brightest of 

1 A townlet on the Euphrates, in the "awwal Shdm," or frontier of Syria. 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 53 

the people of their time and the bravest ; but Kuzia Fakan became 
a maiden of good sense and understanding and knowledge of the 
issues of events, whilst Kanmakan approved him a generous youth 
and freehanded, taking no care in the issue of aught. And so 
they continued till each of them attained the age of twelve. Now 
Kuzia Fakan used to ride a-horseback and fare forth with her 
cousin into the open plain and push forward and range at large 
with him in the wold ; and they both learnt to smite with swords 
and spike with spears. But when they had reached the age of 
twelve, King Zau al-Makan, having completed his preparations 
and provisions and munitions for Holy War, summoned the Wazir 
Dandan and said to him, " Know that I have set mind on a 
thing, which I will discover to thee, and I want thine opinion 
thereon ; so do thou with speed return me a reply. Asked the 
Wazir, " What is that, O King of the Age ? " ; and the other 
answered, " I am resolved to make my son Kanmakan Sultan 
and rejoice in him in my lifetime and do battle before him 
till death overtake me. What reckest thou of this ? " The 
Wazir kissed the ground before the King and replied, " Know, O 
King and Sultan mine, Lord of the Age and the time ! that which. 
is in thy mind is indeed good, save that it is now no tide to carry- 
it out, for two reasons ; the first, that thy son Kanmakan is yet of 
tender years ; and the second, that it often befalleth him who* 
maketh his son King in his life-time, to live but a little while 
thereafterward. 1 And this is my reply." Rejoined the King, 
" Know, O Wazir, that we will make the Grand Chamberlain 
guardian over him, for he is now one of the family and he married 
my sister, so that he is to me as a brother." Quoth the Wazir, 
" Do what seemeth good to thee : we have only to obey thine 
orders." Then the King sent for the Grand Chamberlain whom 
they brought into the presence together with the Lords of the 
realm and he said to them, " Ye know that this my sort Kanmakan 
is the first cavalier of the age, and that he hath no peer in striking 
with the sword and lunging with the lance ; and now I appoint 
him to be Sultan over you and I make the Grand Chamberlain, 
his uncle, guardian over him." Replied the Chamberlain, " I am 
but a tree which thy bounty hath t planted "; and Zau al-Makan 
said, " O Chamberlain, verily this my son Kanmakan and my 
niece Kuzia Fakan are brothers' children ; so I hereby marry her 

1 *'.*., the son would took to that. 

54 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

to him and I call those present to witness thereof." Then he made 
over to his son such treasures as no tongue can describe ; and, 
going in to his sister, Nuzhat al-Zaman, told her what he had 
done, whereat she was a glad woman and said, " Verily the twain 
are my children : Allah preserve thee to them and keep thy life 
for them many a year ! " Replied he, " O my sister, I have ac- 
complished in this world all my heart desired and I have no fear 
for my son ! yet it were well thou have an eye on him, and an eye 
on his mother." And he charged the Chamberlain and Nuzhat al- 
Zaman with the care of his son and niece and wife, and this he 
continued to do nights and days till he fell sick and deemed surely 
that he was about to drink the cup of death ; so he took to his 
bed, whilst the Chamberlain busied himself with ordering the folk 
and realm. At the end of the year, the King summoned his son 
Kanmakan and the Wazir Dandan and said, " O my son, after my 
death this Wazir is thy sire ; for know that I am about to leave 
this house of life transitory for the house of eternity. And indeed 
I have fulfilled my will of this world ; yet there remaineth in my 
heart one regret which may Allah dispel through and by thy 
hands/ 1 Asked his son, " What regret is that, O my father ? " 
Answered Zau al-Makan, " O my son, the sole regret of me is that I 
die without having avenged thy grandfather, Omar bin al-Nu'uman, 
and thine uncle, Sharrkan, on an old woman whom they call Zat 
al-Dawahi ; but, if Allah grant thee aid, sleep not till thou take 
thy wreak on her, and so wipe out the shame we have suffered at 
the Infidel's hands ; and beware of the old hag's wile and do what 
the Wazir Dandan shall advise thee; because he from old time 
hath been the pillar of our realm." And his son assented to what 
he said. Then the King's eyes ran over with tears and his sickness 
redoubled on him ; whereupon his brother-in-law, the Chamberlain, 
took charge over the country and, being a capable man, he judged 
and bade and forbade for the whole of that year ; while Zau al- 
Makan was occupied with his malady. And his sickness was sore 
upon him for four years, during which the Chief Chamberlain sat 
in his stead and gave full satisfaction to the commons and the 
nobles ; and all the country blessed his rule. Such was the case 
with Zau al-Makan and the Chamberlain; but as regards the 
King's son, he busied himself only with riding and lunging with 
lance and shooting with shaft, and thus also did the daughter of 
his uncle, Kuzia Fakan ; for he and she were wont to fare forth 
at the first of the day and return at nightfall, when she would go 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 55 

in to her mother, and he would go in to his mother whom fee ever 
found sitting in tears by the head of his father's couch. Then he 
would tend his father all night long till daybreak, when he would 
go forth again with his cousin according to their wont. Now Zau 
al-Makan's pains and sufferings were longsome upon him and he 
wept and began versifying with these couplets : 

Gone is my strength, told is my tale of days * And, lookye ! I am left as 

thou dost see : 
In honour's day most honoured wont to be, e And win the race from all 

my company, 
Would Heaven before my death I might behold o My son in seat of empire 

sit for me ; 
And rush upon his foes, to take his wreak * With sway of sword and 

lance lunged gallantly : 
In this world and the next I am undone, e Except the Lord vouchsafi? 

me clemency. 

When he had ended repeating these verses, he laid his head on his 
pillow and closed his eyes and slept. Then saw he in his sleep 
one who said to him, " Rejoice, for thy son shall fill the lands with 
justest sway ; and he shall rule them and him shall the lieges obey." 
Then he awoke from his dream gladdened by the good tidings he 
had seen, and after a few days, Death smote him, and because of 
his dying great grief fell on the people of Baghdad, and simple 
and gentle mourned for him. But Time passed over him, as though 
he had never been 1 and Kanmakan's estate was changed ; for the 
people of Baghdad set him aside and put him and his family in 
a place apart. Now when his mother saw this, she fell into the 
sorriest of plights and said, " There is no help "but that I go to 
the Grand Chamberlain, and I must hope for the aidance of the 
Subtle, the All-Wise ! " Then she rose from her place and betook 
herself to the house of the Chamberlain who was now become 
Sultan, and she found him sitting upon his carpet. So she went 
in to his wife, Nuzhat al-Zaman, and wept with sore weeping and 
said unto her, ** Verily the dead hath no friend ! May Allah never 
bring you to want as long as your age and the years endure, and 
may you cease not to rule justly over rich and poor. Thine ears 
have heard and thine eyes have seen all that was ours of king- 
ship and honour and dignity and wealth and fair fortune of life 
and condition ; and now Time hath turned upon us, and fate and 

1 A characteristic touch of Arab pathos, tender and true. 

56 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

the world have betrayed us and wrought in hostile way with us; 
wherefore I come to thee craving thy favours, I from whom favours 
were craved : for when a man dieth, women and maidens are brought 
to despisal." And she repeated these couplets I- 

Suffice thee Death such marvels can enhance, o And severed lives make 

lasting severance : 
Man's days are marvels, and their stations are But water-pits 1 of misery 

and mischance. 
Naught wrings my heart save loss of noble friends, o Girt round by rings of 

hard, harsh circumstance. 

When Nuzhat al-Zaman heard these words, she remembered her 
brother, Zau al-Makan, and his son Kanmakan, and, making her 
draw near to her and showing her honour, she said, " Verily at this 
moment, by Allah, I am grown rich and thou art poor ; now by the 
Lord ! we did not cease to seek thee out, but we feared to wound 
thy heart lest thou shouldest fancy our gifts to thee an alms-gift. 
Withal, whatso weal we now enjoy is from thee and thy husband ; 
so our house is thy house and our place thy place, and thine rs all 
our wealth and what goods we have belong to thee." Then she 
robed her in sumptuous robes and set apart for her a place in the 
Palace adjoining her own ; and they abode therein, she and her 
son, in all delight of life* And Nuzhat al-Zaman clothed him also 
in Kings' raiment and gave to them both especial handmaids for 
their service. After a little, she related to her husband the sad 
case of the widow of her brother, Zau al-Makan, whereat his 
eyes filled with tears and he said, " Wouldest thou see the world 
after thee, look thou upon the world after other than thyself. 
Then entreat her honourably and enrich her poverty." -- And 
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say 

Nofo fo&en it foas fte f^untKefc anij 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Nuzhat 
al-Zaman related to her husband the sad case of the widow of her 
brother, Zau al-Makan, the Chamberlain said, " Entreat her honour* 

1 Arab. "Mawarid" from "ward" = resorting to pool or water-pit (like those of 
' Gakdul ") for drinking, as opposed to " Sadr " =: returning after having drunk at it. 
Hence the " Sadir " (part, act.) takes precedence of the " Warid " in Al-Hariri (Ass- of 
'.he Badawi). 

Tale of King Omar bin at-Nu'uman and his Sons. 57 

ably and enrich her poverty." Thus far concerning Nuzhat al- 
Zaman and her consort and the relict of Zau al-Makan ; but as 
regards Kanmakan and his cousin Kuzia Fakan, they grew up and 
flourished till they waxed like unto two fruit-laden boughs or two 
shining moons ; and they reached the age of fifteen. And she was 
indeed the fairest of maids who are modestly veiled, lovely-faced 
with smooth cheeks graced, and slender waist on heavy hips 
based ; and her shape was the shaft's thin line and her lips were 
sweeter than old wine and the nectar of her mouth as it were the 
fountain Salsab/1 *; even as saith the poet in these two couplets 
describing one like her : 

As though ptisane of wine on her lips honey-dew o Dropt from the ripened 

grapes her mouth in clusters grew : 
And, when her frame thou doublest, and low bends her vine, * Praise her 

Creator's might no creature ever knew 

Of a truth Allah had united in her every charm : her shape would 
shame the branch of waving tree and the rose before her cheeks 
craved lenity ; and the honey-dew of her lips of wine made jeer, 
however old and clear, and she gladdened heart and beholder with 
joyous cheer, even as saith of her the poet : 

Goodly of gifts is she, and charm those perfect eyes, o With lashes shaming 

Kohl and all the fair ones Kohl'd 3 
And from those eyne the glances pierce the lover's heart, o Like sword in Mfr 

al-Muminfna All's hold. 

And (the relator continueth) as for Kanmakan, he became unique 
in loveliness and excelling in perfection no less ; none could even 
him in qualities as in seemliness and the sheen of valour between 
his eyes was espied, testifying for him while against him it never 
testified. The hardest hearts inclined to his side ; his eyelids bore 
lashes black as by Kohl ; and he was of surpassing worth in body 
and soul. And when the down of lips and cheeks began to sprout 
bards and poets sang for him far and near t 

Appeared not my excuse till hair had clothed his cheek, o And gloom 

o'ercrept that side-face (sight to stagger !) 
A fawn, when eyes would batten on his charms, o Each glance deals thrust 

like point of Khanjar-dagger. 

1 One of the fountains of Paradise (Koran, chapt. Ixxvi.) : the word lit. means 
"water flowing pleasantly down the throat." The same chapter mentions " Zanjabfl/* 
or the Ginger-fount, which to the Infidel mind unpleasantly suggests " ginger pop.** 

2 Arab. " Takhil " = adorning with Kohl. 

$8 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

And saith another : 

His lovers' souls have drawn upon his cheek * An ant that perfected its 

rosy light : 
1 marvel at such martyrs Lazd-pent o Who yet with greeny robes 

of Heaven are dight. 1 

Now it chanced one holiday, that Kuzia Fakan fared forth to make 
festival with certain kindred of the court, and she went surrounded 
by her handmaids. And indeed beauty encompassed her; the roses 
of her cheeks dealt envy to their mole ; from out her smiling lips 
leven flashed white, gleaming like the chamomile 2 ; and Kanmakan 
began to turn about her and devour her with his sight, for she was 
the moon of resplendent light. Then he took heart and giving his 
tongue a start began to improvise : 

When shall the disappointed heart be healed of severance, o And lips of 

Union smile at ceasing of our hard mischance ? 
Would Heaven I knew shall come some night, and with it surely bring 

Meeting with friend who like myself endureth sufferance. 3 

When Kuzia Fakan heard these couplets, she showed vexation 
and disapproval and, putting on a haughty and angry air, said to 
, him, " Dost thou name me in thy verse, to shame me amongst 
folk ? By Allah, if thou turn not from this talk, I will assuredly 
complain of thee to the Grand Chamberlain, Sultan of Khorasan 
and Baghdad and lord of justice and equity ; that disgrace and 
punishment may befal thee ! " Kanmakan made no reply for 
anger but he returned to Baghdad; and Kuzia Fakan also returned 
to her palace and complained of her cousin to her mother, who 
said to her, " O my daughter, haply he meant thee no harm, and is 
he aught but an orphan ? Withal, he said nought of reproach to 

1 The allusions are far-fetched and obscure as in Scandinavian poetry. Mr. Payne 
(ii. 314) translates " Naml" by "net." I understand the ant (swarm) creeping up 
the cheeks, a common simile for a young beard. The lovers are in the Laza (hell) of 
jealousy, etc., yet feel in the Na'im (heaven) of love and robe in green, the hue of 
hope, each expecting to be the favoured one. 

2 Arab. " Ukhuwan," the classical term. There are two chamomiles ; the white 
(Bdbunaj) and the yellow (Kaysun) : these however are Syrian names and plants are 
differently called in almost every Province of Arabia. 

* In nomadic life the parting of lovers happens so frequently that it becomes a stock 
topic in poetry and often, as here, the lover complains of parting when he is not parted. 
But the gravamen lies in the word " Wasl " which may mean union, meeting, reunion 
or coition. As Ka'ab ibn Zuhayr l>egan his famous poem with Su'ad hath departed," 
900 imitators (says Al-Siyuti) adopted the Nasib or address to the beloved and Su'ad 
came to signify a cruel, capricious mistress. 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 59 

thee ; so beware thou tell none of this, lest perchance it come to 
the Sultan's ears and he cut short his life and blot out his name 
and make it even as yesterday, whose memory hath passed away." 
However, Kanmakan's love for Kuzia Fakan spread abroad in 
Baghdad, so that the women talked of it. Moreover, his breast 
became straitened and his patience waned and he kne,w not what 
to do, yet he could not hide his condition from the world. Then 
longed he to give vent to the pangs he endured, by reason of the 
lowe of separation ; but he feared her rebuke and her wrath ; so 
he began improvising : 

Now is my dread to incur reproaches, which o Disturb her temper and her 

mind obscure, 
Patient I'll bear them ; e'en as generous youth o Beareth the burn of brand 

his case to cure. 1 

-- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 
her permitted say. 

Koto foben it foas tje l^untofc anfc 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Grand Chamberlain became Sultan they named him King Sdsdn ; 
and after he had assumed the throne he governed the people 
in righteous way. Now as he was giving audience one day, 
Kanmakan's verses came to his knowledge. Thereupon he 
repented him of the past and going in to his wife Nuzhat al- 
Zaman, said to her, " Verily, to join Halfah-grass and fire, 2 is the 
greatest of risks ; and man may not be trusted with woman, so 
long as eye glanceth and eyelid quivereth. Now thy brother's 
son, Kanmakan, is come to man's estate and it behoveth us to 
forbid him access to the rooms where anklets trinkle, and it is yet 
more needful to forbid thy daughter the company of men, for the 
like of her should be kept in the Harim." Replied she, " Thou 
sayest sooth, O wise King ! " Next day came Kanmakan accord- 

1 As might be expected from a nation of camel-breeders actual cautery which can 
cause only counter-irritation, is a favourite nostrum ; and the Hadis or prophetic saying 
is " Akhir al-dawa (or al-tibb) al-Kayy " = cautery is the end of medicine-cure; and 
" Fire and sickness cannot cohabit." Most of the Badawi bear upon their bodies grisly 
marks of this heroic treatment, whose abuse not unfrequently brings on gangrene. The 
Hadis (Burckhardt, Proverbs, No. 30) also means " if nothing else avail, take violent 

2 The Spaniards have the same expression : " Man is fire and woman is tinder." 

,60 A If Layldh wa Laylah. 

ing to his wont ; and, going in to his aunt saluted her. She 
returned his salutation and said to him, "O my son! I have some- 
what to say to thee which I would fain leave unsaid ; yet I must 
tell it thee despite my inclination." Quoth he, " Speak ; " and 
quoth she, " Know then that thy sire the Chamberlain, the father 
of Kuzia Fakan, hath heard of the verses thou madest anent her, 
and hath ordered that she be kept in the Harim and out of thy 
reach ; if therefore, O my son, thou want anything from us, I 
will send it to thee from behind the door ; and thou shalt not 
look upon Kuzia Fakan nor shalt thou return hither from this 
day forth. " When he heard this he arose and withdrew with- 
out speaking a single word; and, betaking himself to his mother, 
related what his aunt had said. She observed, " This all cometh 
of thine overtalking. Thou knowest that the news of thy passion 
for Kuzia Fakan is noised abroad and the tattle hath spread 
everywhere how thou eatest their food and thereafter thou courtest 
their daughter." Rejoined he, " And who should have her but I ? 
She is the daughter of my father's brother and I have the best of 
rights to her." Retorted his mother, " These are idle words. Be 
silent, lest haply thy talk come to King Sasan's ears and it prove 
the cause of thy losing her and the reason of thy ruin and increase 
of thine affliction. They have not sent us any supper to-night and 
we shall die an-hungered ; and were we in any land but this, we 
were already dead of famine or of shame for begging our bread." 
When Kanmakan heard these words from his mother, his regrets 
redoubled ; his eyes ran over with tears and he complained and 
began improvising: 

Minish this blame I ever bear from you : o My heart loves her to whom all 

love is due : 
Ask not from me of patience jot or tittle, o Divorce of Patience by God's 

House ! I rue : 
What blamers preach of patience I unheed ; * Here am I, love-path firmly to 

pursue ! 
Indeed they bar me access to my love ; o Here am I, by God's ruth no ill 

I sue! 
Good sooth my bones, whenas they hear thy name, o Quail as birds quailed 

when Nisus o'er them flew :* 
Ah ! say to them who blame my love that I o Will love that face, fair cousin, 

till I die. 

1 Arab. " Bashik" from Persian "Bashah" (accipiter Nisus} a fierce little species of 
sparrow-hawk which I have described in "Falconry in the Valley of the Indus" 
(p. 14, etc.) 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 61 

And when he had ended his verses he said to his mother, " I have 
no longer a place in my aunt's house nor among these people, but 
I will go forth from the palace and abide in the corners of the 
city." So he and his mother left the court ; and, having sought 
an abode in the neighbourhood of the poorer sort, there settled ; 
but she used to go from time to time to King Sasan's palace and 
thence take daily bread for herself and her son. As this went on 
Kuzia Fakan took her aside one day and said to her, " Alas, O my 
naunty, how is it with thy son ? " Replied she, " O my daughter, 
sooth to say, he is tearful-eyed and heavy-hearted, being fallen 
into the net of thy love." And she repeated to her the couplets 
he had made ; whereupon Kuzia Fakan wept and said, " By 
Allah ! I rebuked him not for his words, nor for ill-will to him, 
but because I feared for him the malice of foes. Indeed my 
passion for him is double that he feeleth for me ; my tongue may 
not describe my yearning for him ; and were it not for the extra- 
vagant wilfulness of his words and the wanderings of his wit, my 
father had not cut off from him favours that besit, nor had decreed 
unto him exclusion and prohibition as fit. However, man's days 
bring nought but change, and patience in all case is most becoming ; 
peradventure He who ordained our severance will vouchsafe us 
reunion ! " And she began versifying in these two couplets : 

O son of mine uncle ! same sorrow I bear, o And suffer the like of thy cark 

and thy care ; 
Yet hide I from man what I suffer for pine ; o Hide it too, and such secret to 

man never bare ! 

When his mother heard this from her, she thanked her and blessed 
her : then she left her and acquainted her son with what she had 
said ; whereupon his desire for her increased and he took heart, 
being eased of his despair and the turmoil of his love and care. 
And he said, "By Allah, I desire none but her! "; and he began 
improvising : 

Leave this blame, I will list to no flout of my foe ! o I divulged a secret was 

told me to keep : 
He is lost to my sight for whose union I yearn, o And I watch all the 

while he can slumber and sleep. 

So the days and nights went by whilst Kanmakan lay tossing upon 
coals of fire, 1 till he reached the age of seventeen ; and his beauty 

1 Lit. "Coals (fit) for frying-pan." 

62 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

had waxt perfect and his wits were at their brightest. One night, 
as he lay awake, he communed with himself and said, "Why 
should I keep silence till I waste away and see not my lover? 
Fault have I none save poverty ; so, by Allah, I am resolved to 
remove me from this region and wander over the wild and the 
wold ; for my position in this city is a torture and I have no 
friend nor lover therein to comfort me ; wherefore I am determined 
to distract myself by absence from my native land till I die and 
take my rest after this shame and tribulation." And he began 
to improvise and recited these couplets : 

Albeit my vitals quiver 'neath this ban ; o Before the foe myself I'll 

ne'er unman ! 
So pardon me, my vitals are a writ o Whose superscription are 

my tears that ran : 
Heigh-ho ! my cousin seemeth Houri-may o Come down to earth by 

reason of Rizwan : 
'Scapes not the dreadful sword-lunge of her look o Who dares the glancing of 

those eyne to scan : 
O'er Allah's wide-spread world I'll roam and roam, o And from such exile win 

what bread I can ; 
Yes, o'er broad earth I'll roam and save my soul, o All but her absence bearing 

like a man : 
With gladsome heart I'll haunt the field of fight, o And meet the bravest Brave 

in battle-van ! 

So Kanmakan fared forth from the palace barefoot and he walked 
in a short-sleeyed gown, wearing on his head a skull- cap of felt 1 
seven years old and carrying a scone three days stale, and in 
the deep glooms of night betook himself to the portal al-Arij of 
Baghdad. Here he waited for the gate being opened and when it 
was opened, he was the first to pass through it ; and he went out 
at random and wandered about the wastes night and day. When 
the dark hours came, his mother sought him but found him not ; 
whereupon the world waxt strait upon her for all that it was 
great and wide, and she took no delight in aught of weal it supplied. 
She looked for him a first day and a second day and a third day 
till ten days were past, but no news of him reached her. Then 
her breast became contracted and she shrieked and shrilled, saying, 
" O my son ! O my darling ! thou hast revived my regrets. Sufficed 

1 Arab. " Libdah," the sign of a pauper or religious mendicant. He is addressed 
Ya Abu libdah ! " (O father of a felt calotte !) 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu*uman and his Sons. 63 

not what I endured, but thou must depart from my home ? After 
thee I care not for food nor joy in sleep, and naught but tears and 
mourning are left me. O my son, from what land shall I call 
thee ? And what town hath given thee refuge ? " Then her sobs 
burst out, and she began repeating these couplets : 

Well learnt we, since you left, our grief and sorrow to sustain, o While bows of 
severance shot their shafts in many a railing rain : 

They left me, after girthing on their selles of corduwayne o To fight the very 
pangs of death while spanned they sandy plain : 

Mysterious through the nightly gloom there came the moan of dove ; o A ring- 
dove, and replied I, * Cease thy plaint, how durst complain?' 

If, by my life, her heart, like mine, were full of pain and pine o She had not 
deckt her neck with ring nor sole with ruddy stain. 1 

Fled is mine own familiar friend, bequeathing me a store o Of parting-pang 
and absence-ache to suffer evermore. 

Then she abstained from food and drink and gave herself up to 
excessive tear-shedding and lamentation. Her grief became 
public property far and wide and all the people of the town and 
country side wept with her and cried, " Where is thine eye, O 
Zau al-Makan?" And they bewailed the rigours of Time, saying, 
" Would Heaven we knew what hath befallen Kanmakan that he 
fled his native town, and chased himself from the place where his 
father used to fill all in hungry case and do justice and grace ? " 
And his mother redoubled her weeping and wailing till the news of 

Kanmakan's departure came to King Sasan. And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

jgofo fo&en it foas tfje ^tm&refc anfc JfortfetJ) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that came to 
King Sasan the tidings of the departure of Kanmakan, through the 
Chief Emirs who said to him, " Verily he is the son of our Sovran 
and the seed of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and it hath reached 
us that he hath exiled himself from the land." When King Sasan 
heard these words, he was wroth with them and ordered one of 
them to be hanged by way of silencing him, whereat the fear of 
him fell upon the hearts of all the other Grandees and they dared 

1 In times of mourning Moslem women do not use perfumes or dyes, like the Henna 
feere alluded to in the pink legs and feet of the dove. 

64 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

not speak one word. Then he called to mind all the kindness 
that Zau al-Makan had done him, and how he had charged him 
with the care of his son ; wherefore he grieved for Kanmakan and 
said, " Needs must I have search made for him in all countries." 
So he summoned Tarkash and bade him choose an hundred horse 
and wend with them in quest of the Prince. Accordingly he went 
out and was absent ten days, after which he returned and said, " I 
can learn no tidings of him and have hit on no trace of him, nor 
can any tell me aught of him." Upon this King Sasan repented 
him of that which he had done by the Prince ; whilst his mother 
abode in unrest continual nor would patience come at her call: ana 
thus passed over her twenty days in heaviness all. This is how it 
fared with these; but as regards Kanmakan, when he left Baghdad, 
he went forth perplexed about his case and knowing not whither 
he should go : so he fared on alone through the desert for three 
days and saw neither footman nor horseman ; withal, his sleep fled 
and his wakefulness redoubled, for he pined after his people and 
his homestead. He ate of the herbs of the earth and drank of its 
flowing waters and siesta'd under its trees at hours of noontide 
heats, till he turned from that road to another way and, following 
it other three days, came on the fourth to a land of green leas, dyed 
with the hues of plants and trees and with sloping valley-sides made 
to please, abounding with the fruits of the earth. It had drunken 
of the cups of the cloud, to the sound of thunders rolling loud and 
the song of the turtle-dove gently sough'd, till its hill-slopes were 
brightly verdant and its fields were sweetly fragrant. Then 
Kanmakan recalled his father's city Baghdad, and for excess of 
emotion he broke out into verse : 

I roam, and roaming hope I to return; o Yet of returning see not how or 

I went for love of one I could not win, o Nor way of 'scaping 'ills that pressed 

could ken. 

When he ended his recital he wept, but presently he wiped away 
his tears and ate of the fruits of the earth enough for his present 
need. Then he made the Wuzu-ablution and prayed the ordained 
prayers which he had neglected all this time ; and he sat resting 
in that place through the livelong day. When night came he slept 
and ceased not sleeping till midnight, when he awcke and heard a 
human voice declaiming these couplets : 

Tale of King Omar bin at-Nu'uman and his Sons. 65 

What's life to me, unless I see the pearly sheen o Of teeth I love, and sight 

that glorious mien ? 
Pray for her Bishops who in convents reign, o Vying to bow before that ' 

heavenly queen. 
And Death is lighter than the loved one's wrath, o Whose phantom haunts me 

seen in every scene : 
O joy of cup-companions, when they meet, o And loved and lover o'er, 

each other lean ! 
E'en more in time of spring, the lord of flowers, o When fragrant is the world 

with bloom and green : 
Drainer of vine-juice ! up wi' thee, for now o Earth is a Heaven where 

sweet waters flow. 1 

When Kanmakan heard these distichs his sorrows surged up ; his 
tears ran down his cheeks like freshets and flames of fire darted 
into his heart. So he rose to see who it was that spake these 
words, but saw none for the thickness of the gloom ; whereupon 
passion increased on him and he was frightened and restlessness 
possessed him. He descended from his place to the sole of the 
valley and walked along the banks of the stream, till he heard the 
same voice sighing heavy sighs and reciting these couplets : 

Tho' 'tis thy wont to hide thy love perforce, o Yet weep on day of 

parting and divorce ! 
Twixt me and my dear love were plighted vows ; o Pledge of reunion, fonder 

intercourse : 
With joy inspires my heart and deals it rest e Zephyr, whose coolness 

doth desire enforce. 
O Sa'ada", 2 thinks of me that anklet-wearer ? o Or parting broke she 

troth without remorse ? 
And say ! shall nights foregather us, and we o Of suffered hardships tell 

in soft discourse ? 
Quoth she," Thou 'rt daft for us and fey"; quoth I, o " 'Sain thee ! how many 

a friend hast turned to corse ! " 
If taste mine eyes sweet sleep while she's away, o Allah with loss of her 

these eyne accurse. 
O wounds in vitals mine! for cure they lack o Union and dewy lips' 

sweet the Hack. 3 

1 Koran, chapt. ii. 23. The idea is repeated in some forty Koranic passages. 

2 A woman's name, often occurring. The " daughters of Sa'ada" are zebras, so called 
because " they resemble women in beauty and graceful agility." 

3 Arab. " Tiryak " from Gr. QrjpiaKov (fidpfjLaKov a drug against venomous bites. 
It was compounded mainly of treacle, and that of Baghdad and Irak was long held sove- 
reign. The European equivalent," Venice treacle," (Theriaca Andromachi) is an electuary 
containing many elements. Badawin eat for counter- poison three heads of garlic in 
clarified butter for forty days. (Pilgrimage Hi. 77.) 


66 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

When Kanmakan heard this verse again spoken by the same voice 
yet saw no one, he knew that the speaker was a lover like unto 
himself, debarred from union with her who loved him ; and he said 
to himself, " 'Twere fitting that this man should lay his head to 
my head and become my comrade in this my strangerhood." 1 Then 
he hailed the speaker and cried out to him, saying, " O thou who 
farest in sombrest night, draw near to me and tell me thy tale ; 
haply thou shalt find me one who will succour thee in thy suffer- 
ings." And when the owner of the voice heard these words, he 
cried out, " O thou that respondest to my complaint and wouldest 
hear my history, who art thou amongst the knights ? Art thou 
human or Jinni ? Answer me speedily ere thy death draw near, 
for I have wandered in this desert some twenty days and have seen 
no one nor heard any voice but thy voice." At these words Kan- 
makan said to himself, " This one's case is like my case, for I, even 
I, have wandered twenty days, nor during my wayfare have I seen 
man or heard voice : " and he added, " I will make him no answer 
till day arise." So he was silent, and the voice again called out to. 
him, saying, "O thou that callest, if thou be of the Jinn fare in 
peace and, if thou be man, stay awhile till the day break stark and 
the night flee with the dark." The speaker abode in his place and 
Kanmakan did likewise and the twain in reciting verses never 
failed, and wept tears that railed till the light of day began loom 
and the night departed with its gloom. Then Kanmakan looked at 
the other and found him to be of the Badawi Arabs, a youth in 
the flower of his age ; clad in worn clothes and bearing in baldrick 
a rusty sword which he kept sheathed, and the signs of love-long- 
ing were apparent on him. He went up to him and accosted him 
and saluted him, and the Badawi returned the salute and greeted 
him With courteous wishes for his long life, but somewhat despised 
him, seeing his tender years and his Condition, which was that of a 
pauper. So he said to him, " O youth, of what tribe art thou and 
to whom art thou kin among the Arabs ; and what is thy history 
that thou goest by night, after the fashion of knights ? Indeed 
thou spakest to me in the dark words such as are spoken of none 

1 Could Cervantes have read this ? In Algiers he might easily have heard it recited by 
the tale-tellers. Kanmakan is the typical Arab Knight, gentle and valiant as Don 
Quixote; Sabbah is the Grazioso t a "Beduin" Sancho Panza. In the " Romance of 
Antar" we have a similar contrast with Ocab who says: "Indeed I am no fighter: 
the sword in my hand-palm chases only pelicans ;" and, " whenever you kill a satrap, I'll 
plunder him." 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nrfuman and his Sons. 67 

but doughty cavaliers and lion-like warriors ; and now I hold thy 
life in hand. But I have compassion on thee by reason of thy 
green years ; so I will make thee my companion and thou shalt go 
with me, to do me service." When Kanmakan heard him speak 
these unseemly words, after showing him such skill in verse, he 
knew that he despised him and would presume with him ; therefore 
he answered him with soft and well-chosen speech, saying, " O 
Chief of the Arabs, leave my tenderness of age and tell me why 
thou wanderest by night in the desert reciting verses. Thou 
talkest, I see, of my serving thee ; who then art thou and what 
moved thee to talk this wise ? " Answered he, " Hark ye, boy ! I 
am Sabbdh, son of Rammdh bin Humdm. 1 My people are of the 
Arabs of Syria and I have a cousin, Najmah hight, who to all that 
look on her brings delight. And when my father died I was 
brought up in the house of his brother, the father of Najmah ; but 
as soon I grew up and my uncle's daughter became a woman, they 
secluded her from me and me from her, seeing that I was poor and 
without money in pouch. Then the Chiefs of the Arabs and the 
heads of the tribes rebuked her sire, and he was abashed before 
them and consented to give me my cousin, but upon condition that 
I should bring him as her dower fifty head of horses and fifty 
dromedaries which travel ten days 2 without a halt and fifty camels 
laden with wheat and a like number laden with barley, together 
with ten black slaves and ten handmaids. Thus the weight he set 
upon me was beyond my power to bear ; for he exacted more than 

1 i.e. The Comely, son of the Spearman, son of the Lion, or Hero. 

* Arab. " Ushari." Old Purchas (vi., i. 9) says there are three kinds of camels (i) 
Huguin (=. Hejin) of tall stature and able to carry 1,000 Ibs.. (2) Bechete (=. Bukhti) the 
two-humped Bactrian before mentioned and, (3) the Raguahill (Rahil) small dromedaries 
unfit for burden but able to cover a hundred miles in a day. The " King of Timbukhtu " 
(not " Bukhtu's well " pop. Timbuctoo) had camels which reach Segelmesse (Sijalmas) or 
Darha, nine hundred miles in eight days at most. Lyon makes the Maherry (also called 
El-Heirie ==. Mahri) trot nine miles an hour for a long time. Other travellers in North 
Africa report the Sabayee (Saba'i = seven days wender) as able to get over six hundred 
and thirty miles (or thirty-five caravan stages =. each eighteen miles) in five to seven 
days. One of the dromedaries in the "hamlah" or caravan of Mr. Ensor (Journey 
through Nubia and Darfoor a charming book) travelled one thousand one hundred and ten 
miles in twenty-seven days. He notes that his beasts were better with water every five to 
seven days, but in the cold season could do without drink for sixteen. I found in Al-Hijaz at 
the end of August that the camels suffered much after ninety hours without drink (Pilgri- 
mage iii. 14). But these were " Jiidi" fine-haired animals as opposed to Khawar " 
(the Khowas of Chesney, p. 333), coarse-haired, heavy, slow brutes which will not stand 
great heat. 

68 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

the marriage-settlement as by law established. So here am I, 
travelling from Syria to Irak, and I have passed twenty days with- 
out seeing other than thyself ; yet I mean to go to Baghdad that I 
may ascertain what merchant men of wealth and importance start 
thence. Then will I fare forth in their track and loot their goods, and 
I will slay their escort and drive off their camels with their loads. 
But what manner of man art thou ? " Replied Kanmakan, " Thy 
case is like unto my case, save that my evil is more grievous than 
thine ill ; for my cousin is a King's daughter and the dowry of which 
thou hast spoken would not content her people, nor would they be 
satisfied with the like of that from me.'* Quoth Sabbah, " Surely 
thou art a fool or thy wits for excess of passion are gathering wool ! 
How can thy cousin be a King's daughter ? Thou hast no sign of 
royal rank on thee, for thou art but a mendicant." Rejoined Kan- 
makan, " O Chief of the Arabs, let not this my case seern strange 
to thee ; for what happened, happened ; * and if thou desire proof 
of me, I am Kanmakan, son of King Zau al-Makan, son of King 
Omar bin al-Nu'uman Lord of Baghdad and the realm Khorasan ; 
and Fortune banned me with her tyrant ban, for my father died 
and my Sultanate was taken by King Sasan. So I fled forth from 
Baghdad secretly, lest I be seen of any man, and have wandered 
twenty days without any but thyself to scan. So now I have dis- 
covered to thee my case, and my story is as thy story and my need 
as thy need." When Sabbah heard this, he cried out, " O my joy, 
I have attained my desire ! I will have no loot this day but thy- 
self ; for since thou art of the seed of Kings and hast come out in 
beggar's garb, there is no help but thy people will seek thee ; and, 
if they find thee in any one's power, they will ransom thee with 
monies galore. So show me thy back, O my lad, and walk before 
me." Answered Kanmakan, " O brother of the Arabs, act not on 
this wise, for my people will not buy me with silver nor with gold, 
not even with a copper dirham ; and I am a poor man, having with 
me neither much nor little; so cease then to be upon this track and 
take me to thy comrade. Fare we forth for the land of Irak and 
wander over the world, so haply we may win dower and marriage- 
portion, and we may seek and enjoy our cousins' kisses and em- 
braces when we come back." Hearing this, Sabbah waxed angry; 
his arrogance and fury redoubled and he said, "Woe to thee \ 
Dost thou bandy words with me, O vilest of dogs that be ? Turn 

1 i.e. Fortune so willed it (euphemistically). 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nrfuman and his Sons. 09 

thee thy back, or I will come down on thee with clack ! " Kan- 
makan smiled and answered, " Why should I turn my back for 
thee ? Is there no justice in thee ? Dost thou not fear to bring 
blame upon the Arab men by driving a man like myself captive, 
in shame and disdain, before thou hast proved him oh the plain, to 
know if he be a warrior or of cowardly strain?" Upon this Sabbah 
laughed and replied, "By Allah, a wonder! Thou art a boy in years 
told, but in talk thou art old. These words should come from none 
but a champion doughty and bold : what wantest thbu of justice?" 
Quoth Kanmakan, " If thou wilt have me thy captive, to wend with 
thee and serve thee, throw down thine arms and put off thine outer 
gear and come on and wrestle with me; and whichever of us throw 
his opponent shall have his will of him and make him his boy." 
Then Sabbah laughed and said, " I think this waste of breath de- 
noteth the nearness of thy death." Then he arose and threw down 
his weapon and, tucking up his skirt, drew near unto Kanmakan 
who also drew near and they gripped each other. But the Badawi 
found that the other had the better of him and we]ghed him down, 
as the quintal downweighs the dinar ; and he looked at his legs 
firmly planted on the ground, and saw that they were as two 
minarets * strongly based, or two tent-poles in earth encased, or 
two mountains which may not be displaced. So he acknowledged 
himself to be a failure and repented of having come to wrestle with 
him, saying in himself, " Would I had slain him with my weapon!" 
Then Kanmakan took hold of him and mastering "him, shook him 
till the Badawi thought his bowels would burst in his belly, and he 
broke out, " Hold thy hand, O boy ! " He heeded not his words, 
but shook him again and, lifting him from the ground, made with 
him towards the stream, that he might throw him therein : where- 
upon the Badawi roared out, saying, " O thou valiant man, what 
wilt thou do with me ? " 2 Quoth he, " I mean to throw thee into 
this stream : it will bear to the Tigris. The Tigris will bring thee 
to the river Isa and the Isa will carry thee to the Euphrates, and 
the Euphrates will land thee in thine own country ; so thy tribe 
shall see thee and know thy manly cheer and how thy passion be 
sincere." Then Sabbah cried aloud and said, "O Champion of the 

1 The "minaret" being feminine is usually compared with a fair young girl. The 
oldest minaret proper is supposed to have been built in Damascus by the Ommiade 
Caliph (No. X.) Al-Walid A.H. 86-96 (= 705-715). According to Ainsworth (ii. 113) 
the second was at Kuch Hisar in Chaldea. 

8 None of the pure Badawi can swim for the best of reasons, want of waters. 

7O A If L'aylak wa Laylah. 

desert-lair, do not with me what deed the wicked dare but let 
me go, by the life of thy cousin, the jewel of the fair ! " Hearing 
this, Kanmakan set him on the ground ; but when he found him- 
self at liberty, he ran to his sword and targe and taking them up, 
stood plotting in himself treachery and sudden assault on his 
adversary. 1 The Prince kenned his intent in his eye and said to 
him, " I con what is in thy heart, now thou hast hold of thy sword 
and thy targe. Thou hast neither length of hand nor trick of 
wrestling, but thou thinkest that, wert thou on thy mare and 
couldst wheel about the plain, and ply me with thy skene, J had 
long ago been slain. But I will give thee thy requite, so there may 
be left in thy heart no despite ; now give me the targe and fall on 
me with thy whinger ; either thou shalt kill me or I shall kill thee." 
41 Here it is," answered Sabbah and, throwing him the targe, bared 
his brand and rushed at him sword in hand ; Kanmakan hent the 
buckler in his right and began to fend himself with it, whilst 
Sabbah struck at him, saying at each stroke, " This is the finishing 
blow ! " JBut it fell harmless enow, for Kanmakan took all on his 
buckler and it was waste work, though he did not reply lacking the 
wherewithal to strike and Sabbah ceased not to smite at him with 
his sabre, till his arm was weary. When his opponent saw this, he 
rushed upon him and, hugging him in his arms, shook him and 
threw him to the ground. Then he turned him over on his face 
and pinioned his elbows behind him with the baldrick of his sword, 
and began to drag him by the feet and to make for the river. 
Thereupon cried Sabbah, rt What wilt thou do with me, O youth, 
and cavalier of the age and brave of the plain where battles rage- ? " 
Answered he, " Did I not tell thee that it was my intent to send 
thee by the river to thy kin and to thy tribe, that thy heart be not 
troubled for them nor their hearts be troubled for thee, and lest 
thou miss thy cousin's bride-feast ! " At this Sabbah shrieked aloud 
and wept and screaming said, " Do not thus, O champion of the 

1 The baser sort of Badawi is never to be trusted : he is a traitor born, and looks 
upon fair play as folly or cowardice. Neither oath nor kindness can bind him : he 
unites the cruelty of the cat with the wildness of the wolf. How many Englishmen 
have lost their lives by not knowing these elementary truths ! The race has not changed 
from the days of Mandeville (A.D. 1322) whose " Arabians, who are called Bedouins 
and Ascopards (?), are right felonious and foul, and of a cursed nature." In his day 
they "carried but one shield and one spear, without other arm:" now, unhappily for 
travellers, they have matchlocks and most tribes can manufacture a something called be, 
courtesy gunpowder* 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu J uman and his Sons. 71 

time's braves ! Let me go and make me one of thy slaves ! " And 
he wept and waile.d and began reciting these verses : 

I'm estranged fro' my folk and estrangement's long : o Shall I die amid 

strangers ? Ah, would that I kenned ! 
I die, nor my kinsmen shall know where I'm slain, o Die in exile nor 

see the dear face of my friend ! 

Thereupon Kanmakan had compassion on him and said, " Make 
with me a covenant true and swear me an onth to be a comrade as 
due and to bear me company wheresoever I may go." "Tis well," 
replied Sabbah and swore accordingly. Then Kanmakan loosed 
him and he rose and would have kissed the Prince's hand ; but he 
forbade him that. Then the Badawi opened his scrip and, taking 
out three barley scones, laid them before Kanmakan and they both 
sat down on the bank of the stream to eat. 1 When they had done 
eating together, they made the lesser ablution and prayed ; after 
which they sat talking of what had befallen each of them from his 
people and from the shifts of Timeu Presently said Kanmakan, 
" Whither dost thou now intend ? " Replied Sabbah, " I purpose 
to repair to Baghdad, thy native town, and abide there, until Allah 
vouchsafe me the marriage portion." Rejoined the other, " Up 
then and to the road ! I tarry here." So the Badawi farewelled 
him and took the way for Baghdad, whilst Kanmakan remained 
behind, saying to himself, " O my soul, with what face shall I re- 
turn pauper-poor? Now by Allah, I will not go back empty- 
handed and, if the Almighty please, I will assuredly work my de- 
liverance." Then he went to the stream and made the Wuzu- 
washing and when prostrating he laid his brow in the dust and 
prayed to the Lord, saying, " O Allah ! Thou who sendest down 
the dew, and feedest the worm that homes in the stone, I beseech 
Thee vouchsafe me my livelihood of Thine Omnipotence and the 
Grace of Thy benevolence ! " Then he pronounced the salutation 
which closes prayer ; yet every road appeared closed to him. And 
while he sat turning right and left, behold, he espied a horseman 
making towards him with bent back and reins slack. He sat up- 
right and after a time reached the Prince ; and the stranger was 
at the last gasp and made sure of death, for he was grievously- 
wounded when he came up ; the tears streamed down his cheeks 
like water from the mouths of skins ; and he said to Kanmakan, 

1 Thus by Arab custom 4hey become friends 

7 2 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

41 O chief of the Arabs, take me to thy friendship as long as I live, 
for thou wilt not find my like ; and give me a little water though 
the drinking of water be harmful to one wounded, especially whilst 
the blood is flowing and the life with it. And if I live, I will give 
thee what shall heal thy penury and thy poverty : and if I die, 
mayst ttfou be blessed for thy good intent." Now under that horse-* 
man was a stallion, so noble a Rabite 1 the tongue fails to describe 
him ; and as Kanmakan looked at his legs like marble shafts, he 
was seized with a longing and said to himself, " Verily the like of 
this stallion 2 is not to be found in our time." Then he helped the 
rider to alight and entreated him in friendly guise and gave him a 
little water to swallow ; after which he waited till he had taken 
rest and addressed him, saying, " Who hath dealt thus with thee ? " 
Quoth the rider, " I will tell thee the truth of the case. I am a 
horse-thief and I have busied myself with lifting and snatching 
horses all my life, night and day, and my name is Ghassan, the 
plague of every stable and stallion. I heard tell of this horse, 
that he was in the land of Roum, with King Afridun, where they 
had named him Al-Katul and surnamed him Al-Majnun. 3 So I 
journeyed to Constantinople for his sake and watched my oppor- 
tunity and whilst I was thus waiting, there came out an old woman, 
one highly honoured among the Greeks, and whose word with them 
is law, by name Zat al-Dawahi, a past mistress in all manner of 
trickery. She had with her this steed and ten slaves, no more, to 
attend on her and the horse ; and she was bound for Baghdad and 
Khorasan, there to seek King Sasan and to sue for peace and 
pardon from ban. So I went out in their track, longing to get at 
the horse, 4 and ceased not to follow them, but was unable to come 
by the stallion, because of the strict guard kept by the slaves, till 
they reached this country and I feared lest they enter the city of 
Baghdad. As I was casting about to steal the stallion lo ! a great 
cloud of dust arose on them and walled the horizon. Presently it 

1 Our ckssical term for a noble Arab horse. 

2 In Arab. "Khayl" is = horse; Husan, a stallion ; Hudud, a brood stallion; Faras, 
a mare (but sometimes used as a horse and meaning " that tears over the ground ") ; Jiyad 
a steed (noble) ; Kadish, a nag (ignoble) ; Mohr a colt and Mohrah, a filly. There are 
dozens of other names but these suffice for conversation. 

3 Al-Katul, the slayer ; Al-Majnun, the mad ; both high compliments in the style 

* This was a highly honourable exploit, which would bring the doer fame as well as 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu*uman and his Sons. 73 

opened and disclosed fifty horsemen, gathered together to waylay 
merchants on the highway, and their captain, by name Kahrdash, 
was a lion in daring and dash; a furious lion who layeth knights 
flat as carpets in battle-crash." - And Shahrazad perceived the 
dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Note foben it foas tfje f^tmtali an* Jportn^rst 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the wounded 
rider spake thus to Kanmakan, "Then came out the same Kahr- 
dash, and fell on the old woman and her men and bore down upon 
them bashing them, nor was it long before they bound her and the 
ten slaves and bore off their captives and the horse, rejoicing. 
When I saw this, I said to myself: My pains were in vain nor did 
I attain my gain. However, I waited to see how the affair would 
fare, and when the old woman found herself in bonds, she wept 
and said to the captain, Kahrdash : O thou doughty Champion 
and furious Knight, what wilt thou do with an old woman and 
slaves, now that thou hast thy will of the horse? And she 
beguiled him with soft words and she sware that she would send 
him horses and cattle, till he released her and her slaves. Then 
he went his way, he and his comrades, and I followed them till 
they reached this country ; and I watched them, till at last I found 
an opportunity of stealing the horse, whereupon I mounted him 
and, drawing a whip from my wallet, struck him with it. When 
the robbers heard this, they came out on me and surrounded me 
on all sides and shot arrows and cast spears at me, whilst I stuck 
fast on his back and he fended me with hoofs and forehand, 1 till at 
last he bolted out with me from amongst them like unerring shaft 
or shooting star. But in the stress and stowre I got sundry grievous 
wounds and sore ; and, since that time, I have passed on his back 
three days without tasting food or sleeping aught, so that my 
strength is down brought and the world is become to me as 
naught. But thou hast dealt kindly with me and hast shown ruth 
on me ; and I see thee naked stark and sorrow hath set on thee its 
mark, yet are signs of wealth and gentle breeding manifest on 

1 This is a true and life-like description of horse-stealing in the Pesert : Antar and 
Burckhardt will confirm every word. A noble Arab stallion is supposed to fight for his 
rider and to wake hihl at night if he see any sign of danger. The owner generally 
sleens under the belly of the beast which keeps eyes and ears alert till dawn. 

74 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

thee. So tell me, what and whence art thou and whither art thou 
bound ? " Answered the Prince, " My name is Kanmakan, son of 
Zau al-Makan, son of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman. When my 
father died and an orphan lot was my fate, a base man seized the 
throne and became King over small and great." Then he told 
him all his past from first to last ; and the horse-thief said to him, 
for he pitied him, " By Allah, thou art one of high degree and 
exceeding nobility, and thou shalt surely attain estate sublime and 
become the first cavalier of thy time. If thou can lift me on 
horseback and mount thee behind me and bring me to my own 
land, thou shalt have honour in this world and a reward on the 
day of band calling to band, 1 for I have no strength left to steady 
myself; and if this be my last day, the steed is thine alway ; for 
thou art worthier of him than any other." Quoth Kanmakan, 
" By Allah, if I could carry thee on my shoulders or share my 
days with thee, I would do this deed without the steed ! For I 
am of a breed that loveth to do good and to succour those in 
need ; and one kindly action in Almighty Allah's honour averteth 
seventy calamities from its doer. So make ready to set out and 
put thy trust in the Subtle, the All-Wise." And he would have 
lifted him on to the horse and fared forward trusting in Allah, 
Aider of those who seek aid, but the horse-thief said, " Wait for 
me awhile." Then he closed his eyes and opening his hands, said, 
" I .testify that there is no god but the God, and I testify that 
Mohammed is the Apostle of God ! " And he added, " O glorious 
One, pardon me my mortal sin, for none can pardon mortal sins 
save the Immortal ! " And he made ready for death and recited 
these couplets : 

1 have wronged mankind, and have ranged like wind o O'er the world, and in 
wine-cups my life has past : 

I've swum torrent-course to bear off the horse ; o And my guiles high 
places on plain have cast. 

Much I've tried to win and o'er much my sin ; o And Katul of my win- 
nings is most and last : 

I had hoped of this steed to gain wish and need, But vain was the end 
of this journey vast. 

I have stolen through life, and my death in strife o Was doomed by the 
Lord who doth all forecast ; 

And I've toiled these toils to their fatal end o For an orphan, a pauper 

sans kith or friend ! 

Arab. " Yaum al-tanadf," i.e. Resurrection-day. 

,Tale of King Omar bin al-Nifuman and his Sons. 75 

And when he had finished his verses he closed his eyes and opened 
his mouth ; then with a single death-rattling he left this world. 
Thereupon Kanmakan rose and dug a grave and laid him in 
the dust ; after which he went up to the steed and kissed him 
and wiped his face and joyed with exceeding joy, saying, "None 
hath the fellow of this stallion ; no, not even King Sasan." Such 
was the case with Kanmakan ; but as regards King Sasan, pre- 
sently news came to him that the Wazir Dandan had thrown off 
his allegiance, and with him half the army who swore that they 
would have no King but Kanmakan : and the Minister had bound 
the troops by a solemn covenant and had gone with them to the 
Islands of India and to Berber-land and to Black-land j 1 where he 
had levied armies from far and near, like unto the swollen sea for 
fear and none could tell the host's van from its rear. And the 
Minister was resolved to make for Baghdad and take the kingdom 
in ward and slay every soul who dare retard, having sworn not to 
return the sword of war to its sheath, till he had made Kanmakan 
King. When this news came to Sasan, he was drowned in the sea 
of appal, knowing that the whole state had turned against him, 
great and small; and his trouble redoubled and his care became 
despair. So he opened his treasuries and distributed his monies 
among his officers ; and he prayed for Kanmakan's return, that he 
might draw his heart to him with fair usage and bounty; and 
make him commander of those troops which ceased not being 
faithful to him, so might he quench the sparks ere they became a 
flame. Now when the news of this reached Kanmakan by the 
merchants, he returned in haste to Baghdad on the back of the 
aforesaid stallion, and as King Sasan sat perplexed upon his throne 
he heard of the coming of Kanmakan ; whereupon he despatched 
all the troops and head-men of the city to meet him. So all who 
were in Baghdad fared forth and met the Prince and escorted him 
to the palace and kissed the thresholds, whilst the damsels and the 
eunuchs went in to his mother and gave her the fair tidings of his 

1 Arab. " Bilad al-Sudan" =. the Land of the Blacks, negro-land, whence the slaves 
came, a word now fatally familiar to English ears. There are, however, two regions of 
the same name, the Eastern upon the Upper Nile and the Western which contains the 
Niger-Valley ; and each considers itself the Sudan. And the reader must not confound 
the Berber of the Upper Nile, the Berberino who acts servant in Lower Egypt, with 
the Berber of Barbary : the former speaks an African language ; the latter a " Semitic " 
.(Arabic) tongue. 

76" A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

return. She came to him and kissed him between the eyes, but he 
said to her, " O mother mine, let me go to my uncle King Sasan who 
hath overwhelmed me with weal and boon." And while he so did, 
all the palace-people and head-men marvelled at the beauty of the 
stallion and said, " No King is like unto this man." So Kanmakan 
went in to King Sasan and saluted him as he rose to receive him ; 
and, kissing his hands and feet, offered him the horse as a present* 
The King greeted him, saying, " Well come and welcome to my 
son Kanmakan ! By Allah, the world hath been straitened on me 
by reason of thine absence, but praised be Allah for thy safety ! '* 
And Kanmakan called down blessings on him. Then the King 
looked at the stallion, Al-Katul hight, and knew him for the very 
horse he had seen in such and such a year whilst beleaguering the 
Cross-worshippers of Constantinople with Kanmakan's sire, Zau 
al-Makan, that time they slew his uncle Sharrkan. So he said to 
the Prince, "If thy father could have come by this courser, he 
would have bought it with a thousand blood horses : but now let 
the honour return to the honourable. We accept the steed and 
we give him back to thee as a gift, for to him thou hast more 
right than any wight, being knightliest of knights." Then King 
Sasan bade bring forth for him dresses of honour and led horses 
and appointed to him the chief lodging in the palace, and showed 
him the utmost affection and honour, because he feared the 
issue of the Wazir Dandan's doings. At this Kanmakan rejoiced 
and shame and humiliation ceased from him. Then he went to 
his house and, going to his mother, asked, " O my mother, how is 
it with the daughter of my uncle ? " Answered she, " By Allah, 
O my son, my concern for thine absence hath distracted me from 
any other, even from thy beloved ; especially as she was the cause 
of thy strangerhood and thy separation from me.*' Then he com* 
plained to her of his case, saying, " O my mother, go to her and 
speak with her ; haply she will vouchsafe me her sight to see and 
dispel from me this despondency." Replied his mother, " Idle 
desires abase men's necks ; so put away from thee this thought 
that can only vex ; for I will not wend to her nor go in to her 
with such message.'* Now when he heard his mother's words he 
told her what said the horse-thief concerning Zat al-Dawahi, how 
the old woman was then in their land purposing to make Baghdad, 
land added, " It was she who slew my uncle and my grandfather, 
needs must I avenge them with man-bote, that our reproach 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nrfuman and his Sons. 77 

be wiped out." Then he left her and repaired to an old woman, 
a wicked, whorish, pernicious beldam by name Sa'adanah and 
complained to her of his case and of what he suffered for love of 
his cousin Kuzia Fakan and begged her to go to her and win her 
favour for him. " I hear and I obey," answered the old hag and 
leaving him betook herself to Kuzia Fakan's palace, that she might 
intercede with her in his behalf. Then she returned to him and 
said, " Of a truth Kuzia Fakan saluteth thee and promiseth to 
visit thee this night about mid-night." And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

fo&m ft foas tje ^unfcrrtf anU Jfott^seconto Nt'gjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
old woman came to Kanmakan and said, " Of a truth the daughter 
of thine uncle saluteth thee and she will visit thee this night about 
midnight ; " he rejoiced and sat down to await the fulfilment of 
his cousin's promise. But before the hour of night she came to 
him, wrapped in a veil of black silk, and she went in to him and. 
aroused him from sleep, saying, " How canst thou pretend to love 
me, when thou art sleeping heart-free and in complete content ?" So 
he awoke and said, " By Allah, O desire of my heart, I slept not 
but in the hope that thine image might visit my dreams ! " Then 
she chid him with soft words and began versifying in these 
couplets : 

Hadst thou been leal in love's loyalty, o Ne'er haddest suffered sleep to seal 

those eyne : 
O thou who claimest lover-loyalty, o Treading the lover's path of pain 

and pine i 
By Allah, O my cousin, never yet o Did eyes of lover sleep such sleep 


Now when he heard his cousin's words, he was abashed before her 
and rose and excused himself. Then they embraced and com- 
plained to each other of the anguish of separation ; and they ceased 
not thus till dawn broke and day dispersed itself over the horizon ; 
when she rose preparing to depart. Upon this Kanmakan wept 
and sighed and began improvising these couplets : 

7 8 A/f Laylah wa Laylah. 

thou who deignest come at sorest syne, o Whose lips those teeth 

like necklaced pearls enshrine ! 

1 kissed him 1 thousand times and dipt his waist, o And spent the night with 

cheek to cheek close li'en, 

Till to depart us twain came dawning day, o Like sword-edge drawn 

from sheath in radiant line. 

And when he ended his poetry, Kuzia Fakan took leave of him and 
returned to her palace. Now certain of her damsels became aware 
of her secret, and one of these slave girls disclosed it to King 
Sasan, who went into Kuzia Fakan and, drawing his sabre upon 
her, would have slain her : but her mother Nuzhat al-Zaman 
entered and said to him, " By Allah, do her no harm, for if thou 
hurt her, the report will be noised among the folk and thou shalt 
become a reproach amongst the Kings of the age ! Know thou 
that Kanmakan is no son of adultery, but a man of honour and 
nobility, who would not do aught that could shame him, and she 
was reared with him. So be not hasty ; for verily the report is 
spread abroad, among all the palace-people and all the folk of 
Baghdad, how the Wazir Dandan hath levied armies from all 
countries and is on his way hither to make Kanmakan King." 
Quoth Sasan, " By Allah, needs must I cast him into such calamity 
that neither earth shall support him nor sky shall shadow him ! I 
did but speak him fair and show him favour because of my lieges 
and my lords, lest they incline to him ; but right soon shalt thou 
see what shall betide." Then he left her and went out to order the 
affairs of the realm. Such, then, was the case with King Sasan ; 
but as regards Kanmakan, on the next day he came in to his 
mother and said, " O my mother ! I am resolved to ride forth 
a-raiding and a-looting: and I will cut the road of caravans and 
lift horses and flocks, negroes and white slaves and, as soon as I 
have collected great store and my case is bettered galore, I will 
demand my cousin Kuzia Fakan in marriage of my uncle Sasan." 
Replied she, " O my son, of a truth the goods of men are not ready 
to hand like a scape-camel ; 2 for on this side of them are sword- 
strokes and lance-lungings and men that eat the wild beast and lay 
countries waste and chase lynxes and hunt lions." Quoth he, 
" Heaven forefend that I turn back from my resolve, till I have won 
to my will!" Then he despatched the old woman to Kuzia Fakan, 

l " Him "for "her." 

2 Arab. " Sdibah," a she-camel freed from labour under certain conditions amongst 
the pagan Arabs j for which see Sale (Prel. Disc. sect. v.). 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 79 

to tell her that he was about to set out in quest of a marriage-settle- 
ment befitting her, saying to the beldam, " Thou needs must pray 
her to send me an answer." " I hear and I obey," replied the old 
woman and going forth, presently returned with Kuzia Fakan's 
reply, which was, " She will come to thee at midnight." So he 
abode awake till one half of the night was passed, when restlessness 
gat hold on him, and before he was aware she came in to him, 
saying, " My life be thy ransom from wakefulness ! " and he sprang 
up to receive her, exclaiming, " O desire of my heart, my life be 
thy redemption from all ills and evils ! " Then he acquainted her, 
with his intent, and she wept : but he said, " Weep not, O daughter 
of my uncle ; for I beseech Him who decreed our separation to 
vouchsafe us reunion and fair understanding." Then Kanmakan, 
having fixed a day for departure, went in to his mother and took 
leave of her, after which came he down from his palace and threw 
the baldrick of his sword over his shoulder and donned turband and 
face-veil ; and mounting his horse, Al-Katul, and looking like the 
moon at its full, he threaded the streets of Baghdad, till he reached 
the city gate. And behold, here he found Sabbah bin Rammah 
coming out of town; and his comrade seeing him, ran to his 
stirrup and saluted him. He returned his salutation, and Sabbah 
asked him, " O my brother, how earnest thou by this good steed 
and this sword and clothes, whilst I up to present time have gotten 
nothing but my sword and target ? " Answered Kanmakan, " The 
hunter returneth not but with quarry after the measure of his 
intention. A little after thy departure, fortune came to me : so 
now say, wilt thou go with me and work thine intent in my com- 
pany and journey with me in this desert ? Replied Sabbah, " By 
the Lord of the Ka'abah, from this time forth I will call thee naught 
but ' my lord ' ! Then he ran on before the horse, with his sword 
hanging from his neck and his budget between his shoulder-blades, 
and Kanmakan rode a little behind him ; and they plunged into 
the desert, for a space of four days, eating of the gazelles and 
drinking water of the springs. On the fifth day they drew near 
a high hill, at whose foot was a spring-encampment * and a deep 

1 Arab. " Marba'." In early spring the Badawi tribes leave the Rasm or wintering- 
place (the Turco-Persian "Kishlak") in the desert, where winter-rains supply them, 
and make for the Yaylak, or summer-quarters, where they find grass and water. Thus 
the great Ruwala tribe appears regularly every year on the eastern slopes of the Anti- 
Libanus (Unexplored Syria, i. 117), and hence the frequent "partuigs." 

8o Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

running stream ; and the knolls and hollows were filled with 
camels and cattle and sheep and horses, and little children played 
about the pens and folds. When Kanmakan saw this, he rejoiced 
at the sight and his breast was filled with delight ; so he addressed 
himself to fight, that he might take the camels and the cattle, and 
said to Sabbah, " Come, fall with us upon this loot, whose owners 
have left it unguarded here, and do we battle for it with near and 
far, so haply may fall to our lot of goods some share." Replied 
Sabbah, " O my lord, verily they to whom these herds belong be 
many in number ; and among them are doughty horsemen and 
fighting footmen; and if we venture lives in this derring-do we 
shall fall into danger great and neither of us will return safe from 
this bate ; but we shall both be cut off by fate and leave our cousins 
desolate." Then Kanmakan laughed and knew that he was a 
coward ; so he left him and rode down the rise, intent on rapine, 
with loud cries and chanting these couplets : 

Oh a valiant race are the sons of Nu'uman, o Braves whose blades shred 

heads of the foeman-clan ! l 
A tribe who, when tried in the tussle of war, o Taketh prowest stand in the 

battle-van : 
In their tents safe close gaberlunzie's eyne, o Nor his poverty's ugly features 

And I for their aidance sue of Him o Who is King of Kings and made 

soul of man. 

Then he rushed upon the she-camels like a he-camel in rut and 
drove all before him, sheep and cattle, horses and dromedaries. 
Therewith the slaves ran at him with their blades so bright and 
their lances so long ; and at their head rode a Turkish horseman 
who was indeed a stout champion, doughty in fray and in battle 
chance and skilled to wield the nut-brown lance and the blade 
with bright glance. He drove at Kanmakan, saying, "Woe to 
thee ! Knewest thou to whom these herds belong thou hadst not 

1 This " renowning it " and boasting of one's tribe (and oneself) before battle is as 
natural as the war-cry : both are intended to frighten the foe and have often succeeded. 
Every classical reader knows that the former practice dates from the earliest ages. It is 
still customary in Arabia during the furious tribal fights, the duello on a magnificent 
scale, which often ends in half the combatants on either side being placed hors-de- 
combat. A fair specimen of '* renowning it "is Amru's Suspended Poem with its 
extravagant panegyric of the Taghlab tribe (p. 64, "Arabian Poetry for English 
Readers," etc., by W. A. Clouston, Glasgow: privately printed M DC CCLXXX I.; 
and transcribed from Sir William Jones's translation). 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nuttman and his Sons. 8 1 

done this deed. Know that they are the goods of the band 
Grecian, the champions of the ocean and the troop Circassian ; 
and this troop containeth none but valiant wights numbering an 
hundred knights, who have cast off the allegiance of every Sultan. 
But there hath been stolen from them a noble stallion, and they 
have vowed not to return hence without him." Now when 
Kanmakan heard these words, he cried out, saying, " O villain, 
this I bestride is the steed whereof ye speak and after which ye 
seek, and ye would do battle with me for his sake ! So come out 
against me, all of you at once, and do you dourest for the nonce 1 " 
Then he shouted between the ears of Al-Katul who ran at them 
like a Ghul ; whereupon Kanmakan let drive at the Turk * and 
ran him through the body and threw, him from his horse and let 
out his life ; after which he turned upon a second and a third and 
a fourth, and also of life bereft them. When the slaves saw this, 
they were afraid of him, and he cried out and said to them, " Ho, 
sons of whores, drive out the cattle and the stud or I will dye my 
spear in your blood." So they untethered the beasts and began to 
drive them out ; and Sabbah came down to Kanmakan with loud 
voicing and hugely rejoicing ; when lo! there arose a cloud of dust 
and grew till it walled the view, and there appeared under of it 
riders an hundred, like lions an-hungered. Upon this Sabbah took 
flight, and fled to the hill's topmost height, leaving the assailable 
site, and enjoyed sight of the fight, saying, " I am no warrior ; but 
in sport and jest I delight." 2 Then the hundred cavaliers made 
towards Kanmakan and surrounded him on all sides, and one of 
them accosted him, saying, " Whither goest thou with this loot ? " 
Quoth he, " I have made it my prize and am carrying it away ; 

1 The " Turk" appeared soon amongst the Abbaside Caliphs. Mohammed was made 
to prophecy of them under the title Banu Kanturah, the latter being a slave-girl of 
Abraham. The Imam Al-Shafi'i (A.H. I95 = A.D. 810) is said to have foretold their 
rule in Egypt where an Ottoman defended him against a donkey-boy. (For details see 
Pilgrimage i. 216.) The Caliph Al-Mu'atasim bi'llah (A.D. 833-842) had more than 
10,000 Turkish slaves and was the first to entrust them with high office; so his Arab 
subjects wrote of him : 

A wretched Turk is thy heart's desire ; 

And to them thou showest thee dam and sire. 

His successor Al-Wdsik (Vathek, of the terrible eyes) was the first to appoint a Turk Ms 
Sultan or regent. After his reign they became praetorians and led to the. downfall of the 

2 The Persian saying is " First at the feast and last at the fray." 


82 A If LaylaJi wa Laylah* 

and I forbid you from it, or come on to the combat, for know ye 
that he who is before you is a terrible lion and an honourable 
champion, and a sword that cutteth wherever it turneth ! " When, 
the horseman heard these words, he looked at Kanmakan and 
saw that he was a knight like a mane-clad lion in might, whilst 
his face was as the full moon rising on its fourteenth night, and 
valour shone from between his eyes. Now that horseman was the 
captain of the hundred horse, and his name was Kahrdash; and 
when he saw in Kanmakan the perfection of cavalarice with sur- 
passing gifts of comeliness, his beauty reminded him of a beautiful 
mistress of his whose name was Fatin. 1 Now she was one of the 
fairest of women in face, for Allah had given her charms and grace 
and noble qualities of all kinds, such as tongue faileth to explain 
and which ravish the hearts of men. Moreover, the cavaliers of the 
tribe feared her prowess and all the champions of that land stood 
in awe of her high spirit ; and she had sworn that she would not 
marry nor let any possess her, except he should conquer her in 
combat (Kahrdash being one of her suitors) ; and she said to her 
father, " None shall approach me, save he be able to deal me over- 
throw in the field and stead of war-thrust and blow. Now when 
this news reached Kahrdash, he scorned to fight with a girl, 
fearing reproach ; and one of his intimates said to him, " Thou 
art complete in all conditions of beauty and goodliness ; so if 
thou contend with her, even though she be stronger than thou, 
thou must needs overcome her ; for when she seeth thy beauty 
and grace, she will be discomfited before thee and yield thee the 
victory ; for verily women have a need of men e'en as thou .heedest 
full plain. Nevertheless Kahrdash refused and would not contend 
with her, and he ceased not to abstain from her thus, till he met 
from Kanmakan that which hath been set down. Now he took 
the Prince for his beloved Fatin and was afraid j albeit indeed she 
loved him for what she had heard of his beauty and valour ; so he 
went up to him and said, " Woe to thee, 2 O Fatin ! Thou comest 
here to show me thy prowess ; but now alight from thy steed, that 
I may talk with thee, for I have lifted these cattle and have foiled 
my friends and waylaid many a brave and man of knightly race, 
all for the sake of thy beauty of form and face, which are without 

1 i.e. a tempter, a seducer. 

* Arab. " Wayl-ak" here probably used in the sense of " Wayh-ak " an expression of 
Affectionate concern. 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nt?uman and his Sons.. 83 

peer. So marry me now, that Kings' daughters may serve thee 
and thou shalt become Queen of these countries." When Kan- 
makan heard these words, the fires of wrath flamed up in him and 
he cried out, " Woe to thee, O Persian dog ! Leave Fatin and thy 
trust and mistrust, and come to cut and thrust, for eftsoon thou 
shalt lie in the dust;" and so saying, he began to wheel about him 
and assail him and feel the way to prevail- But when Kahrdash 
observed him closely he knew him for a doughty knight and a 
stalwart in fight ; and the error of his thought became manifest to 
him, whenas he saw the green down on his cheeks dispread like 
myrtles springing from the heart of a rose bright-red. And ha 
feared his onslaught and quoth he to those with him, " Woe to 
you ! Let one of you charge down upon him and show him the 
keen sword and the quivering spear ; for know that when many 
do battle with one man it is foul shame, even though he be a 
kemperly wight and an invincible knight/' Upon this, there ran 
at Kanmakan a horseman like a lion in fight, mounted on a black 
horse with hoofs snow-white and a star on his forehead, the bigness 
of a dirham, astounding wit and sight, as he were Abjar, which 
was Antar*s destrier, even as saith of him the poet : 

The courser chargeth on battling foe, o Mixing heaven on high with the earth 

down low : * 
As though the Morning had blazed his brow, o And he rends her vitals as 

quid pro quo. 

He rushed upon Kanmakan, and they wheeled about awhile, giving 
blows and taking blows such as confound the sprite and dim the 
sight; but Kanmakan was the first to smite the foe a swashing 
blow, that rove through turband and iron skull-cap and reached 
his head, and he fell from his steed with the fall of a camel when 
he rolleth over. Then a second came out to him and offered 
battle, and in like guise a third, a fourth and a fifth, and he did 
with them all as he had done with the first. Thereupon the rest 
at once rushed upon him, for indeed they were roused by rage and 
wild with wrath ; but it was not long before he had pierced them 
all with the point of his spear. When Kahrdash saw these feats of 

1 Firdausi, the Homer of Persia, affects the same magnificent exaggeration. The 
trampling of men and horses raises such a dust that it takes one layer (of the seven) 
from earth and adds it to the (seven of the) Heavens. The " blaze" on the stallion** 
forehead (Arab. " Ghurrah ") is the white gleam of the morning. 

84 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

arms, he feared death ; for he knew that the youth was stoutest of 
heart and concluded that he was unique among knights and braves; 
and he said to Kanmakan, " I waive my claim to thy blood and I 
pardon thee the blood of my comrades : so take what thou wilt of 
the cattle and wend thy ways, for thy firmness in fight moveth my 
ruth and life is better for thee than death." Replied Kanmakan, 
" Thou lackest not of the generosity of the noble ! but leave this 
talk and run for thy life and reck not of blame nor think to get 
back the booty ; but take the straight path for thine own safety.'* 
Thereupon Kahrdash waxed exceeding wroth, and rage moved 
him to the cause of his death ; so he said to Kanmakan, " Woe to 
thee, an thou knew who I be, thou wouldst not wield these words 
in the open field. I am the lion to bash known as Kahrdash, he 
who spoileth great Kings and waylayeth all travellings and seizeth 
the merchants' preciousest things. And the steed under thee is 
that I am seeking ; and I call upon thee to tell me how thou 
earnest by him and hast him in thy keeping." Replied Kan- 
makan, " Know thou that this steed was being carried to my uncle 
King Sasan, under the escort of an ancient dame high in rank 
attended by ten slaves, when thou fellest upon her and tookest 
the horse from her ; and I have a debt of blood against this old 
woman for the sake of my grandfather King Omar bin al-Nu'uman 
and my uncle King Sharrkan." " Woe to thee ! " quoth Kahrdash, 
" who is thy father, O thou that hast no lawful mother ? " Quoth 
he, " Know that I am Kanmakan, bin Zau al-Makan, son of Omar 
bin al-Nu'uman." But when Kahrdash heard this address he said, 
" Thy perfection cannot be denied, nor yet the union in thee of 
knightly virtue and seemlihead," and he added, " Fare in peace, 
for thy father showed us favour." Rejoined Kanmakan, " By 
Allah, I will not deign to honour thee, O wretch I disdain, so far 
as to overcome thee in battle-plain!" Upon this the Badawi 
waxed wroth and they drove at each other, shouting aloud, whilst 
their horses pricked their ears and raised their tails. 1 And they 
ceased not clashing together with such a crash that it seemed to 
each as if the firmament were split in sunder, and they continued 
to strive like two rams which butt, smiting and exchanging with 
their spears thrust and cut. Presently Kahrdash foined at 
Kanmakan ; but he evaded it and rejoined upon him and so 

1 A noted sign of excitement in the Arab blood horse* when the tail looks .like a 
panache covering the hind-quarter. 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 85 

pierced him through the breast that the spearhead issued from his 
back. Then he collected the horses and the plunder, and he cried 
out to the slaves, saying, " Up and be driving as hard as ye may ! " 
Hearing this, down came Sabbah and, accosting Kanmakan, said 
to him, " Right well hast thou dight, O Knight of the age \ Verily 
I prayed Allah for thee and the Lord heard my prayer/* Then he 
cut off Kahrdash's head and Kanmakan laughed and said, " Woe 
to thee, O Sabbah ! I thought thee a rider fain of fight." Quoth 
the Badawi, " Forget not thy slave in the division ot !he spoil, so 
haply therewith I may marry my cousin Najmah." Answered 
Kanmakan, " Thou shalt assuredly share in it, but now keep watch 
over the booty and the slaves." Then he set out for his home and 
he ceased not journeying night and day till he drew near Baghdad 
city, and all the troops heard of Kanmakan, and saw what was 
his of loot and cattle and the horse-thief's head on the point of 
Sabbah's spear. Also (for he was a noted highwayman) the mer- 
chants knew Kahrdash's head and rejoiced, saying, " Allah hath 
rid mankind of him ! " ; and they marvelled at his being slain and 
blessed his slayer. Thereupon all the people of Baghdad came to 
Kanmakan, seeking to know what adventures had befallen him, 
and he told them what had passed, whereupon all men were taken* 
with awe of him and the Knights and champions feared him.. 
Then he drove his spoil under the palace walls ; and, planting the: 
spear-heel, on whose point was Kahrdash's head, over against the 
royal gate, gave largesse to the people of Baghdad, distributing 
horses and camels, so that all loved him and their hearts inclined 
to him. Presently he took Sabbah and lodged him in a spacious 
dwelling and gave him a share of the loot ; after which he went in 
to his mother and told her all that had befallen him in his last 
journey. Meanwhile the news of him reached the King, who rose 
from his levee and, shutting himself up with his chief officers, said 
to them, " Know ye that I desire to reveal to you my secret and 
acquaint you with the hidden facts of my case. And further know 
that Kanmakan will be the cause of our being uprooted from this 
kingdom, our birth-place ; for he tiath slain Kahrdash, albeit he 
had with him the tribes of the Kurds and the Turks, and our affair 
with him will end in our destruction, seeing that the most part of 
our tropps are his kinsmen and ye weet what the Wazir Dandan 
hath done ; how he disowneth me, after all I have shown him of 
favours ; and after being faithful "he hath turned traitor. Indeed it 
hath reached me that he hath levied an army in the provinces and 

66 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

liath planned to make Kanmakan Sultan, for that the Sultanate 
was his father's and his grandfather's; and assuredly he will slay 
me without mercy." Now when the Lords of the Realm heard 
from him these words, they replied, " O King, verily his man 1 is 
unequal to this, and did we not know him to have been reared by 
thee, not one of us would approve of him. And know thou that 
we are at thy commandment ; if thou desire his death, we will do 
him die ; and if thou wilt remove him, we will remove him.' 5 Now 
when King Sasan heard this, he said, " Verily, to slay him were 
wise ; but needs must ye swear an oath to it." So all sware to slay. 
Kanmakan without giving him a chance ; to the end that, when the 
Wazir Dandan should come and hear of his death, his force might 
be weakened and he fail of his design. When they had made this 
compact and covenant with him, the King honoured them with the 
highest honours and presently retired to his own apartments. But 
the officers deserted him and the troops refused their service and 
would neither mount nor dismount until they should espy what 
might befal, for they saw that most of the army was with the 
Wazir Dandan. Presently, the news of these things came to 
Kuzia Fakan and caused her much concern ; so that she sent for 
the old woman who was wont to carry messages between her and 
her cousin, and when she came, bade her go to him and warn him 
of the plot. Whereto he replied, " Bear my salutation to the 
daughter of my uncle and say to her : Verily the earth is of Allah 
(to whom belong Might and Majesty ! ), and He giveth it as 
heritage to whomsoever of His servants he willeth. How excellent 
is the saying of the sayer : 

Allah holds Kingship ! Whoso seeks without Him victory o Shall be cast out, 

with soul condemned to Hell of low degree : 
Had I or any other man a finger-breadth of land, o The rule were 

changed and men a twain of partner-gods would see." 

Then the old woman returned to Kuzia Fakan and told her his 
reply and acquainted her that he abode in the city. Meanwhile, 
King Sasan awaited his faring forth from Baghdad, that he might 
send after him some who would slay him ; till it befel one morning 
that Kanmakan went out to course and chase, accompanied by 
Sabbah, who would not leave him night or day. He caught ten 
gazelles and among them one that had tender black eyes and 

* i-e. Prince Kanmakan. 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 87 

turned right and left : so he let her go and Sabbah said to him, 
" Why didst thou free this gazelle ? " Kanmakan laughed and set 
the others free also, saying, " It is only humane to release gazelles 
that have young, and this one turned not from side to side, save to 
look for her fawns : so I let her go and released the others in her; 
honour." Quoth Sabbah, " Do thou release me, that I may go to- 
my people." At this Kanmakan laughed and smote him with the 
spear-butt on the breast, and he fell to the ground squirming like 
a snake. Whilst they were thus doing, behold, they saw a dust- 
cloud spireing high and heard the tramp of horses ; and presently 
there appeared under it a plump of knights and braves. Now the 
cause of their coming was this. Some of his followers had ac- 
quainted King Sasan with Kanmakan's going out to the chase ; so 
he sent for an Emir of the Daylamite~s, called Jami' and twenty of 
his horsemen ; and gave them money and bade them slay Kanma- 
kan. So when they drew near the Prince, they charged down 
upon him and he met them in mid-charge and killed them all, to 
the last man. And behold, King Sasan took horse and riding out 
to meet his people, found them all slain, whereat he wondered and 
turned back ; when lo ! the people of the city laid hands on him 
and bound him straitly. As for Kanmakan after that adventure, 
he left the place behind him and rode onward with Sabbah the 
Badawi And the while he went, lo ! he saw a youth sitting at 
the door of a house on his road and saluted him. The youth 
returned his greeting and, going into the house, brought out two 
platters, one full of soured milk and the other of brewis swimming 
in clarified butter ; and he set the platter before Kanmakan, saying, 
" Favour us by eating of our victual." But he refused and quoth 
the young man to him, " What aileth thee, O man, that thou wilt 
not eat ? " Quoth Kanmakan, " I have a vow upon me." The 
youth asked, "What is the cause of thy vow?", and Kanmakan 
answered, "Know that King Sasan seized upon my kingdom like 
a tyrant and an enemy, although it was my father's and my grand- 
father's before me ; yet he became master of it by force after my. 
father's death and took no count of me, by reason of my tender 
years. So I have bound myself by a vow to eat no man's victual: 
till I have eased my heart of my foe." Rejoined the youth, " Re- 
joice, for Allah hath fulfilled thy vow. Know that he hath been 
prisoned in a certain place and methinks he will soon die." Asked 
Kanmakan, " In what house is he confined ? " " Under yon high 
dome," answered the other. The Prince looked and saw the folk 

88 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

entering and buffeting Sasan, who was suffering the agonies of the 
dying. So he arose and went up to the pavilion and noted what 
was therein ; after which he returned to his place and, sitting down 
to the proferred victual, ate what sufficed him and put the rest in 
his wallet. Then he took seat in his own place and ceased not 
sitting till it was dark night and the youth, whose guest he was 
slept ; when he rose and repaired to the pavilion wherein Sasan 
was confined. Now about it were dogs guarding it, and one of 
them sprang at him ; so he took out of his budget a bit of meat 
and threw it to him. He ceased not casting flesh to the dogs till 
he came to the pavilion and, making his way to where King Sasan 
was, laid his hand upon his head ; whereupon he said in a loud 
voice, " Who art thou ? " He replied, " I am Kanmakan whom 
thou stravest to kill ; but Allah made thee fall into thine evil 
device. Did it not suffice thee to take my kingdom and the 
kingdom of my father, but thou must purpose to slay me ? " l 
And Sasan swore a false oath that he had not plotted his death 
and that the bruit was untrue. So Kanmakan forgave him and 
said to him, " Follow me." Quoth he, " I cannot walk a single 
step for weakness." Quoth Kanmakan, " If the case be thus we 
will get us two horses and ride forth, I and thou, and seek the 
open." So he did as he said, and he took horse with Sasan and 
rode till day-break, when they prayed the dawn-prayer and fared 
on, and ceased not faring till they came to a garden, where they 
sat down and talked. Then Kanmakan rose to Sasan and said, 
" Is aught left to set thy heart against me ? " " No, by Allah ! " 
replied Sasan. So they agreed to return to Baghdad and Sabbah 
the Badawi said, " I will go before you, to give folk the fair tidings 
of your coming." Then he rode on in advance, acquainting women 
and men with the good news ; so all the people came out to meet 
Kanmakan with tabrets and pipes ; and Kuzia Fakan also came 
out, like the full moon shining in all her splendour of light through 
the thick darkness of the night. So Kanmakan met her, and soul 
yearned to soul and body longed for body. There was no talk 
among the people of the time but of Kanmakan ; for the Knights 
bore witness of him that he was the most valiant of the folk of 
the age and said, " It is not right that other than Kanmakan 

1 The " quality of mercy " belongs to the noble Arab, whereas the ignoble and the 
Badawin are rancorous and revengeful as camels. 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'umart cfiid his Sons. 89 

should be our Sultan ; but the throne of his grandfather shall 
revert to him as it began." Meanwhile Sasan went in to his wife, 
Nuzhat al-Zaman, who said to him, " I hear that the folk talk of 
nothing but Kanmakan and attribute to him such qualities as 
tongue never can." He replied, " Hearing of a man is not like 
seeing a man. I have seen him, but have noted in him none of the 
attributes of perfection. Not all that is heard is said ; but folk 
ape one another in extolling and cherishing him, and Allah maketh 
his praises to run on the lips of men, so that there incline to him 
the hearts of the people of Baghdad and of the Wazir Dandan, 
that perfidious and treacherous man ; who hath levied troops from 
all lands and taketh to himself the right of naming a King of the 
country ; and who chooseth that it shall be under the hand of an 
orphan ruler whose worth is naught." Asked Nuzhat al-Zaman, 
" What then is it that thou purposest to do ? "; and the King 
answered, " I mean to kill him, that the Wazir may be baulked of 
his intent and return to his allegiance, seeing nothing for it but my 
service." Quoth she, " In good sooth perfidy with strangers is a 
foul thing and how much more with kith and kin ! The righteous 
deed to do would be to marry him to thy daughter Kuzia Fakan 
and give heed to what was said of old time : 

An Fate some person 'stablish o'er thy head, o And thou being worthier 

her choice upbraid, 
Yet do him honour due to his estate ; o He'll bring thee weal though far or 

near thou vade : 
Nor speak thy thought of him, else shalt thou be o Of those who self degrade 

from honour's grade : 
Many Harfms are lovelier than the Bride ; o But Time and Fortune lent 

the Bride their aid." 

When Sasan heard these her words and comprehended what her 
verse intended, he rose from her in anger and said, " Were it not 
that thy death would bring on me dishonour and disgrace, I would 
take off thy head with my blade and make an end of thy breath." 
Quoth she, "Why art thou wroth with me? I did but jest with 
thee." Then she rose to him and bussed his head and hands, 
saying, " Right is thy foresight, and I and thou will cast about for 
some means to kill him forthright." When he heard this, he was 
glad and said, " Make haste and contrive some deceit to relieve 
me of my grieving : for in my sooth the door of device is straitened 
upon me ! " Replied she, " At once I will devise for thee to do 

9O A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

away his life.-" How so?" asked he; and she answered, "By 
means of our female slave the so-called Bakun." Now this Bakun 
was past mistress in all kinds of knavery and was one of the most 
pestilent of old women, in whose religion to abstain from wicked- 
ness was not lawful ; she had brought up Kuzia Fakan and Kan- 
makan who had her in so great affection that he used to sleep 
at her feet. So when King Sasan heard his wife name her, he 
said, " Right is this recking " ; and, sending for the old woman, 
told her what had passed and bade her cast about to kill Kanma- 
kan, promising her all good. Replied she, " Thy bidding shall be 
obeyed ; but I would have thee, O my lord, give me a dagger l 
which hath been tempered in water of death, that I may despatch 
him the speedilier for thee." Quoth Sasan, "And welcome to 
thee ! "; and gave her a hanger that would devance man's destiny. 
Now this slave-woman had heard stories and verses and had 
learned by rote great store of strange sayings and anecdotes : so 
she took the dagger and went out of the room, considering how 
she could compass his doom. Then she repaired to Kanmakan, 
who was sitting and awaiting news of tryst with the daughter of 
his uncle, Kuzia Fakan ; so that night his thought was taken up 
with her and the fires of love for her raged in his heart. And while 
he was thus, behold, the slave-woman, Bakun, went in to him and 
said, " Union time is at hand and the days of disunion are over and 
gone." Now when he heard this he asked, " How is it with Kuzia 
Fakan ?"; and Bakun answered,. " Know that her time is wholly 
taken up with love of thee." At this he rose and doffing his outer 
clothes put them on her and promised her all good. Then said 
she, " Know that I mean to pass this night with thee, that I may 
tell thee what talk I have heard and console thee with stories of 
many passion-distraughts whom love hath made sick." " Nay," 
quoth he, " rather tell me a tale that will gladden my heart and 
gar my cares depart." " With joy and good will," answered she ; 
then she took seat by his side (and that poniard under her dress) 
and began to say : Know thou that the pleasantest thing my ears 
ever heard was 

1 Arab. " Khanjar," the poison was let into the grooves and hollows of the poniard. 

The Tale of the Hashish Eater. 91 


A CERTAIN man loved fair women, and spent his substance on 
them, till he became so poor that nothing remained to him ; the 
world was straitened upon him and he used to go about the 
market-streets begging his daily bread. Once upon a time as he 
went along, behold, a bit of iron nail pierced his ringer and drew 
blood ; so he sat down and wiping away the blood, bound up his 
ringer. Then he arose crying out, and fared forwards till he came to 
a Hammam and entering took off his clothes, and when he looked 
about him he found it clean and empty. So he sat him down by 
the fountain-basin, and ceased not pouring water on his head, till 

he was tired. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

Ttfoto fo&en it foa* tlje p}untottti anft JfortB-tftftli Nifijt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man sat 
down by the fountain-basin and ceased not* pouring water on his 
head till he was tired. Then he went out to the room in which 
was the cistern of cold water ; and seeing no one there, he found a 
quiet corner and taking out a piece of Hashish, 1 swallowed it. 
Presently the fumes mounted to his brain and he rolled over on to 
the marble floor. Then the Hashish made him fancy that a great 
lord was shampooing him and that two slaves stood at his head, one 
bearing a bowl and the other washing gear and all the requisites of 
the Hammam. When he saw this, he said in himself, " Meseemeth 
these here be mistaken in me ; or else they are of the company 
of us Hashish-eaters." 2 Then he stretched out his legs and he 
imagined that the bathman said to him, " O my master, the time 
of thy going up to the Palace draweth near and it is to-day thy 

1 The Pers. "Bang"; Indian "Bhang"; Maroccan "Fasukh" and S. African 
*' Dakha." (Pilgrimage i. 64). I heard of a " Hashish-argie " in London which ended in 
half the experimentalists being on their sofas for a week. The drug is useful for stokers,, 
having the curious property of making men insensible to heat. Easterns also use it for 
" Imsak " prolonging coition, of which I speak presently. 

* Arab. " Hashshashin ;" whence De Sacy derived " Assassin." A notable effect of 
the Hashish preparation is wildly to excite the imagination, a kind of delirium imaginans 
sive phantasticum. 

9 2 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

turn of service." At this he laughed and said to himself, " As 
Allah willeth, 1 O Hashish ! " Then he sat and said nothing, 
whilst the bathman arose and took him by the hand and girt his 
middle with a waist-cloth of black silk, after which the two slaves 
followed him with the bowls and gear ; and they ceased not escort- 
ing him till they brought him into a cabinet, wherein they set 
incense and perfumes a-burning. He found the place full of 
various kinds of fruits and sweet-scented flowers, and they sliced 
him a water-melon and seated him on a stool of ebony, whilst the 

4 bathman stood to wash him and the slaves poured water on him \ 
after which they rubbed him down well and said, " O our lord, 
'Sir Wazir, health to thee for ever ! " Then they went out and shut 
the door on him ; and in the vanity of phantasy he arose and re- 
moved the waist-cloth from his middle, and laughed till he well 
nigh fainted. He gave not over laughing for some time and at 
last quoth he to himself, " What aileth them to address me as if I 
were a Minister and style me Master, and Sir ? Haply they are 
now blundering ; but after an hour they will know me and say, 

This fellow is a beggar ; and take their fill of cuffing me on the 
neck." Presently, feeling hot he opened the door, whereupon it 
seemed to him that a little white slave and an eunuch came in to 
him carrying a parcel. Then the slave opened it and brought out 
three kerchiefs of silk, one of which he threw over his head, a 
second over his shoulders and a third he tied round his waist. 
Moreover, the eunuch gave him a pair of bath-clogs, 2 and he put 
them on ; after which in came white slaves and eunuchs and sup- 
ported him (and he laughing the while) to the outer hall, which he 
found hung and spread with magnificent furniture, such as be- 
seemeth none but kings ; and the pages hastened up to him and 
seated him on the divan. Then they fell to kneading him till sleep 
overcame him ; and he dreamt that he had a girl in his arms. So 
he kissed her and set her between his thighs ; then, sitting to her 
las a man sitteth to a woman, 3 he took yard in hand and drew her 

^Meaning " Well done! M Mashallah (Ma shda f llah) is an exclamation of many uses, 
especially affected when praising man or beast for fear lest flattering words induce the 
evil eye. 

2 Arab. " Kabkab " vulg. " Kubkab." They are between three and ten inches high; 
^and those using them for the first time in the slippery Hammam must be careful. 

8 Arab. " Majlis" = sitting. The postures of coition, ethnologically curious and in- 
teresting, are subjects so extensive that they require a volume rather than a note. Full 
information can be found in the Ananga-ranga, or Stage of the Bodiless One, a treatise 

The Tale of the Hashish Eater. 93 

towards him and weighed down upon her, when lo t he heard one 
saying to him, "Awake, thou ne'er-do-well! The noon-hour is 
come and thou art still asleep." He opened his eyes and found him- 
self lying on the marge of the cold-water tank, amongst a crowd of 
people all laughing at him ; for his prickle was at point and the 
napkin had slipped from his middle. So he knew that all this 
was but a confusion of dreams and an illusion of Hashish and he 
was vexed and said to him who had aroused him, " Would thou 
hadst waited till I had put it in ! " Then said the folk, " Art thou 
not ashamed, O Hashish-eater, to be sleeping stark naked with 
stiff-standing tool ? " And they cuffed him till his neck was red. 
Now he was starving, yet forsooth had he savoured the flavour of 
pleasure in his dream. When Kanmakan heard the bondwoman's 
tale, he laughed till he fell backward and said to Bakun, " O my 
nurse, this is indeed a rare story and a delectable ; I never heard 
the like of this anecdote. Say me ! hast more ? " " Yes," replied 
she, and she ceased not to tell him merry adventures and laughable 
absurdities, till sleep overcame him. Then she sat by his head till 
the most part of the night was past, when she said to herself, " It 
is time to profit by the occasion." So she sprang to her feet and 
unsheathed the hanger and rushing up to Kanmakan, was about to 
cut his throat when behold, his mother came in upon the twain. 
As soon as Bakun saw her, she rose in respect and advanced to 
meet her, and fear gat hold of her and she fell a-trembling, as if 

in Sanskrit verse vulgarly known as Koka Pandit from the supposed author, a Wazir of 
the great Rajah Bhoj or, according to others, of the Maharajah of Kanoj. Under the 
title Lizzat al-Nisa (The Pleasures or enjoying of Women) it has been translated into 
all the languages of the Moslem East, from Hindustani to Arabic. It divides postures 
into five great divisions : (i) the woman lying supine, of which there are eleven sub- 
divisions ; (2) lying on her side, right or left, with three varieties ; (3) sitting, which has 
ten ; (4) standing, with three subdivisions, and (5) lying prone, with two. This total of 
twenty-nine, with three forms of " Purushayit," when the man lies supine (see the 
Abbot in Boccaccio i. 4), becomes thirty-two, approaching the French quarante fafons. 
The Upavishta, majlis, or sitting postures, when one or both " sit at squat " somewhat 
like birds, appear utterly impossible to Europeans who lack the pliability of the 
Eastern's limbs. Their object in congress is to avoid tension of the muscles which 
\vould shorten the period of enjoyment. In the text the woman lies supine and the man 
sits at squat between her legs : it is a favourite from Marocco to China. A literal trans- 
lation of the Ananga-ranga appeared in 1873 under the name of Kama-Shastra ; or the 
Hindoo Art of Love (Ars Amoris Indica) ; but of this only six copies were printed. It 
was re-issued (printed but not published) in 1885. The curious in such matters wUl 
consult the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (London, privately printed, 1879) by Pisanu* 
Fraxi (H. S. Ashbee). 

94 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

she had the ague. When his mother looked at her she marvelled 
to see her thus and aroused her son, who awoke and found her 
sitting at his head. Now the cause of her coming was that Kuzia 
Fakan overheard the conversation and the concert to kill Kan- 
makan, and she said to his mother, " O wife of my uncle, go to thy 
son, ere that wicked whore Bakun murther him ;" and she told her 
what had passed from first to last. So she fared forth at once, 
and she thought of naught and stayed not for aught till she went 
in to her son at the very moment when Bakun was about to slay 
him in his sleep. When he awoke, he said to his mother, ' O my 
mother, indeed thou comest at a good time, for nurse Bakun 
hath been with me this night." Then he turned to Bakun and 
asked her, " By my life ! knowest thou any story better than those 
thou hast told me ? " She answered, " And where is what I have 
told thee compared with what I will tell thee ? ; but however better 
it be, it must be told at another time." Then she rose to depart, 
hardly believing, in her escape albeit he said, " Go in peace ! " for 
she perceived by her cunning that his mother knew whad had oc- 
curred. So she went her way ; whereupon his mother said to him, 
" O my son, blessed be this night, for that Almighty Allah hath 
delivered thee from this accursed woman." " And how so ? " en- 
quired he, and she told him the story from beginning to end. 
Quoth he, " O my mother, of a truth the live man findeth no 
slayer, and though slain he shall not die ; but now it were wiser 
that we depart from amongst these enemies and let Allah work 
what He will." So, when day dawned he left the city and joined 
the Wazir Dandan, and after his departure, certain things befel 
between King Sasan and Nuzhat al-Zaman, which compelled her 
also to quit the city and join herself to them ; and presently they 
were met by all the high officers of King Sasan who inclined to 
their party. Then they sat in counsel together devising what they 
should do, and at last all agreed upon a razzia into the land of 
Roum there to take their revenge for the death of King Omar bin 
al-Nu'uman and his son Sharrkan. So they set out with this in- 
tent and, after sundry adventures (which it were tedious to tell as 
will appear from what follows), they fell into the hands of Rumzan, 
King of the Greeks. Next morning, King Rumzan caused Kan- 
makan and the Wazir Dandan and their company to be brought 
before him and, when they came, he seated them at his side, and 
bade spread the tables of food. So they ate and drank and took 
heart of grace, after having made sure of death, when they were 

Tale of King Omar bin at-Ntfuman and his Sons. 95 

summoned to the King's presence; and they had said to one 
another, " He hath not sent for us but to slay us." And when they 
were comforted the King said, " In truth I have had a dream, 
which I related to the monks, and they said, " None can expound 
it to thee save the Wazir Dandan." Quoth the Minister, "Weal 
it was thou didst see in thy dream, O King of the age ! " Quoth 
the King, " O Wazir, I dreamt that I was in a pit which seemed a 
black well where multitudes were tormenting me ; and I would 
have risen, but when springing up I fell on my feet and could 
not get out of that same pit. Then I turned and saw therein a 
girdle of gold and I stretched out my hand to take it ; but when 
I raised it from the ground, I saw it was two girdles. So I girt 
my middle with them both and behold, the girdles became one 
girdle ; and this, O Wazir, is my dream and what I saw when my 
sleep was deepest." Said Dandan, " O our Lord the Sultan ! know 
that this thy dream denoteth thou hast a brother or a brother's 
son or an uncle's son or other near kinsman of thy flesh and blood 
whom thou knowest not ; withal he is of the noblest of you 
all." Now when the King heard these words he looked at Kan- 
makan and Nuzhat al-Zarnan and Kuzia Fakan and the Wazir 
Dandan and the rest of the captives and said to himself, " If I 
smite these people's necks, their troops will lose heart for the des- 
truction of their chiefs and I shall be able to return speedily to 
my realm, lest the Kingship pass out of my hands." So having 
determined upon this he called the Sworder and bade him strike 
off Kanmakan's head upon the spot and forthright, when lo ! up 
came Rumzan's nurse and said to him, "O auspicious King, what 
purposest thou ? " Quoth he, *' I purpose slaughtering these pri- 
soners who are in my power; and after that I will throw their 
heads among their men : then will I fall upon them, I and all my 
army in one body, and kill all we can kill and rout the rest : so 
will this be the decisive action of the war and I shall return 
speedily to my kingdom ere aught of accident befal among my 
subjects." When the nurse heard these words, she came up to 
him and said in the Prankish tongue, " How canst thou prevail 
upon thyself to slay thine own brother's son, and thy sister, and 
thy sister's daughter?" When he heard this language, he was 
wroth with exceeding wrath and said to her, " O accursed woman, 
didst thou not tell me that my mother was murthered and that my 
father died by poison ? Didst thou not give me a jewel and say 
to me : Of a truth this jewel was thy father's ? Why didst thou 

Laylah wa Laylah* 

not tell me the truth ? " Replied she, c< All that I told thee is true, 
but my case and thy case are wonderful and my history and thy his- 
tory are marvellous. My name is Marjanah and thy mother's name 
was Abrizah : and she was gifted with such beauty and loveliness 
and valour that proverbs were made of her, and her prowess was re- 
nowned among men of war. And thy father was King Omar bin 
al-Nu'uman, Lord of Baghdad and Khorasan, without doubt or 
double dealing or denial. He sent his son Sharrkan on a razzia, 
in company with this very Wazir Dandan ; and they did all that 
men can. But Sharrkan, thy brother, who had preceded the force, 
separated himself from the troops and fell in with thy mother 
Queen Abrizah in her palace ; and we happened to have sought a 
place apart in order to wrestle, she and I and her other damsels. 
He came upon us by chance while we were in such case, and 
wrestled with thy mother, who overcame him by the power of her 
splendid beauty and by her prowess. Then she entertained him 
five days in her palace, till the news of this came to her father, by 
the old woman Shawahi, surnamed Zat al-Dawahi, whereupon she 
embraced Al-Islam at the hands of Sharrkan, and he took her and 
carried her by stealth to Baghdad, and with her myseH' and Ray- 
hanah and twenty other damsels, all of us having, like her, followed 
the True Faith. When we came into the presence of thy Father, 
the King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, and he saw thy mother, Queen 
Abrizah, he fell in love with her and going in unto her one night, 
had connection with her, and she conceived by him and became 
with child of thee. Now thy mother had three jewels which she. 
presented to thy father ; and he gave one of them to his daughter, 
Nuzhat al-Zaman, another to thy brother, Zau al-Makan, and the 
third to thy brother Sharrkan. This last thy mother took from 
Sharrkan and kept it for thee. But as the time of her delivery 
drew near she yearned after her own people and disclosed to me 
her secret ; so I went to a black slave called Al-Ghazban ; and, 
privily telling him our case, bribed him to go with us. Accordingly 
the negro took us and fled the city with us, thy mother being near 
her time. But as we approached a desert place on the borders 
of our own country, the pangs of labour came upon thy mother. 
Then the slave proved himself a lustful villain and approaching 
her sought of her a shameful thing ; whereupon she cried out at 
him with a loud cry, and was sore affrighted at him. In the excess 
of her fright she gave birth to thee at once, and at that moment 
there arose, in the direction of our country, a dust-cloud which 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 97 

towered and flew till it walled the view. Thereupon the slave 
feared for his life ; so he smote Queen Abrizah with his sword and 
slew her in his fury ; then mounting his horse he went his way. 
Soon after his going, the dust lifted and discovered thy grandfather, 
King Hardub, Lord of Graecia-land, who, seeing thy mother (and 
his daughter) lying slain on the plain, was sorely troubled with a 
distress that redoubled, and questioned me of the manner of her 
death and the cause of her secretly quitting her father's realm. 
So I told him all that had passed, first and last ; and this is the 
cause of the feud between the people of the land of the Greeks 
and the people of the city of Baghdad. Then we bore off thy 
murthered mother and buried her; and I took thee and reared 
thee, and hung about thy neck the jewel which was with Queen 
Abrizah. But, wher being grown up thou earnest to man's estate, 
I dared not acquaint thee with the truth of the matter, lest such 
information stir up a war of blood-revenge between you. More- 
over, thy grandfather had enjoined me to secrecy, and I could 
not gainsay the commandment of thy mother's father, Hardub, 
King of the Greeks. This, then, is the cause of my concealment 
and the reason why I forbore to inform thee that thy father was 
King Omar bin al-Nu'uman ; but when thou earnest to the throne, 
I told thee what thou knowest ; and I durst not reveal to thee the 
rest till this moment, O King of the Age ! So now I have dis- 
covered to thee my secret and my proof, and I have acquainted 
thee with all I know ; and thou reckest best what is in thy mind." 
Now all the captives had heard the slave-woman Marjanah, nurse 
to King Rumzan, speaking as she spake ; when Nuzhat al-Zaman, 
\vithout stay or delay, cried out, saying, "This King Rumzan is 
my brother by my father, King Omar bin al-Nu'uman, and his 
mother was Queen Abrizah, daughter of King Hardub, Lord of 
the Greeks ; and I know this slave-woman Marjanah right well." 
With this, trouble and perplexity got hold upon Rum2an and he 
caused Nuzhat al-Zaman to be brought up to him forthright. 
When he looked upon her, blood yearned to blood and he ques- 
tioned her of his history, She told him the tale and her story 
tallied with that of Marjanah, his nurse ; whereupon the King was 
assured that he was, indeed and without a doubt, of the people 
of Irak ; and that King Omar bin al-Nu'uman was his father. 
So without losing time he caused his sister to be unpinioned, 
and Nuzhat al-Zaman came up to him and kissed his hands, 
whilst her eyes ran over with tears. The King wept also to see 

p8 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

her weeping, and brotherly love possessed him and his heart 
yearned to his brothers son Sultan Kanmakan. So he sprang to 
his feet and, taking the sword from the Sworder's hands (whereat 
the captives made sure of death), he caused them to be set close to 
him and he cut their bonds with the blade and said to his nurse 
Marjanah, " Explain the matter to this company, even as thou 
hast explained it to me." Replied she, " O King, know that this 
Shaykh is the Wazir Dandan and he is the best of witnesses to my 
story, seeing that he knoweth the facts of the case/' Then she 
turned to the captives and repeated the whole story to them on 
the spot and forthright, and in presence of the Kings of the 
Greeks and the Kings of the Franks ; whereupon Queen Nuzhat 
al-Zaman and the Wazir Dandan and all who were prisoners with 
them confirmed her words. When Marjanah, the bond-woman, 
had finished, chancing to look at Sultan Kanmakan she saw on 
his neck the third jewel, fellow to the two which were with Queen 
Abrizah ; and, recognising it, she cried so loud a cry, that the 
palace re-echoed it and said to the King, " O my son, Know that 
now my certainty is still more assured, for this jewel that is about 
the neck of yonder captive is the fellow to that I hung to thy 
neck ; and, these being the two, this captive is indeed thy brother's 
son, Kanmakan." Then the slave-woman Marjanah turned to 
Kanmakan and said to him, " Let me see that jewel, O King of 
the Age ! "; so he took it from his neck and handed it to her. 
Then she asked Nuzhat al-Zaman of the third jewel and she 
gave it to her ; and when the two were in her hand she delivered 
them to King Rumzan, and the truth and proof were made 
manifest to him ; and he was assured that he was indeed Sultan 
Kanmakan's uncle and that his father was King Omar bin al- 
Nu'uman. So he rose at once and on the spot and, going up to 
the Wazir Dandan, threw his arms round his neck; then he 
embraced King Kanmakan and the twain cried a loud cry for 
excess of joy. The glad news was blazed abroad without delay ; 
and they beat the tabrets and cymbals, whilst the shawms 
sounded and the people held high festival. The armies of Irak 
and Syria heard the clamour of rejoicing among the Greeks; so 
they mounted to the last man, and King Zibl Khan also took, 
horse saying to himself, "Would I knew what can. be the cause 
of this clamour and rejoicing in the army of the Franks and the 
Greeks ! " Then the army of Irak dight itself for fight and 
advanced into the plain and place of cut and foin. Presently, 

Tale of King Omar din al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 99 

King Rumzan turned him round and saw the army deployed 
and in preparing for battle employed, so he asked the cause 
thereof and was told the state of the case. Thereupon he bade 
his niece and brother's daughter, Kuzia Fakan, return at once 
and forthright to the troops of Syria and Irak and acquaint them 
with the plight that had betided and how it was come to light 
that King Rumzan was uncle to Sultan Kanmakan. She set 
out, putting away from her sorrows and troubles and, coming to 
King Zibl Khan, 1 saluted him and told him all that had passed 
of the good accord, and how King Rumzan had proved to be her 
uncle and uncle of Kanmakan. And when she went in to him 
she found him tearful-eyed, in fear for the captive Emirs and 
Princes ; but when he heard what had passed, from first to last, 
the Moslem's sadness was abated and they joyed with the more 
gladness. Then King Zibl Khan and all his officers and his 
retinue took horse and followed Princess Kuzia Fakan till they 
reached the pavilion of King Rumzan ; and when entering they 
found him sitting with his nephew, Sultan Kanmakan. Now 
he had taken counsel with the Wazir Dandan concerning King 
Zibl Khan and had agreed to commit to his charge the city of 
Damascus of Sham and leave him King over it as he before had 
been while they themselves entered Irak. Accordingly, they con- 
firmed him in the vice-royalty of Damascus of Syria, and bade 
him set out at once for his government ; so he fared forth with 
his troops and they rode with him a part of the way to bid him 
farewell. Then they returned to their own places whereupon, the 
two armies foregathered and gave orders for the march upon 
Irak; but the Kings said one to other, "Our hearts will never 
be at rest nor our wrath cease to rage till we have taken our 
wreak of the old woman Shawahi, surnamed Zat al-Dawahi, and 
wiped away our shame and blot upon our honour." Thereupon. 
King Rumzan and his nephew set out, surrounded by their Nobles 
and Grandees ; and indeed Kanmakan rejoiced in his uncle, King 
Rumzan, and called down blessings on nurse Marjanah who had 
made them known to each other. They fared on and ceased not 
faring till they drew near their home Baghdad, and when the Chief 
Chamberlain, Sasan, heard of their approach, he came out to meet 
them and kissed the hand of King Rumzan who bestowed on him 
a dress of honour. Then the King of Rouen sat down on the 

1 i.e. Le Roi Crotte. 

IOO Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

throne and seated by his side his nephew Sultan Kanmakan, who 
said to him, " O my uncle, this Kingdom befitteth none but thee." 
Replied Rumzan, " Allah be my refuge and the Lord forbid that 
I should supplant thee in thy Kingdom ! " Upon this the Wazir 
Dandan counselled them to share the throne between the two, 
ruling each one day in turn ; and with this they were well satisfied. 
- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 
her permitted say. 

Wofo fofcft a foas tbe |L}tmtofc antr jfortg'fotmf) 

She said , It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the two 
Kings agreed each to rule one day in turn : then made they 
feasts and offered sacrifices of clean beasts and held high fes- 
tival ; and they abode thus awhile, whilst Sultan Kanmakan 
spent his nights with his cousin Kuzia Fakan. And after that 
period, as the two Kings sat rejoicing in their condition and in 
the happy ending of their troubles, behold, they saw a cloud 
of dust arise and tower till it wailed the world from their eyes. 
And out of it came a merchant shrieking and crying aloud for 
succour and saying, " O Kings of the Age ! how cometh it that 
I woned safely in the land of the Infidels and I am plundered 
in your realm, though it be the biding place of justice 1 and peace?" 
Then King Rumzan went up to him and questioned him of his 
case and he replied, " I am a merchant and, like other mer- 
chants, I have been long absent from my native land, travelling 
in far countries for some twenty years ; and I have a patent of 
exemption from the city of Damascus which the Viceroy, King 
Sharrkan (who hath found mercy) wrote me, for the cause that I 
had made him gift of a slave-girl. Now as I was drawing near 
my home, having with me an hundred loads of rarities of Hind, 
when I brought them near Baghdad, which be the seat of your 
sovereignty and the place of your peace and your justice, out there 
came upon me wild Arabs and Kurds 2 in band gathered together 

1 This seems to be a punning allusion to Baghdad, which in Persian would mean the 
Garden (bagh) of Justice (dad). See " Biographical JNotices of Persian Poets " by Sir 
Gore Ouseley, London, Oriental Translation Fund; 1846. 

2 The Kardoukhoi (Carduchi) of Xenophon; also called (Strabo xv.) 4< Kardalns, 
from a Persian word signifying manliness," which would be ' ' Kardak " == a doer (of 
derring-do). They also- pamgd tj^e Montes Goxdaei the original Ata*ato 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uma* and his Sons. 1OI 

from every land ; and they slew my many and they robbed my 
money and this is what they have done me." Then the trader 
wept in presence of King Rumzan, saying that he. was an old man 
and infirm ; and he bemoaned himself till the King felt for him 
and had compassion on him ; and likewise did King Kanmakan 
and they swore that they would sally forth upon the thieves. So 
they set out amid an hundred horse, each reckoned worth thousands 
of men, and the merchant went before them to guide them in the 
right way; and they ceased not faring on all that day and the 
livelong night till dawnbreak, when they came to a valley abound- 
ing in rills and shady with trees. Here they found the foray dis- 
persed about the valley, having divided that merchant's bales 
among them ; but there was yet some of the goods left. So the 
hundred horsemen fell upon them and surrounded them on all 
sides, and King Rumzan shouted his war cry, and thus also did 
his nephew Kanmakan, and ere long they made prize of them all, 
to the number of near three hundred horsemen, banded together 
of the refuse of rascality. 1 They took what they could find of 
the merchant's goods and, binding them tightly, brought them to 
Baghdad, where King Rumzan and his nephew, King Kanmakan, 
sat down together on one throne and, passing the prisoners in 
review before them, questioned them of their case and their chiefs. 
They said, " We have no chiefs but these three men and it was 
they who gathered us together from all corners and countries." 
The Kings said to them, " Point out to us your headmen ! "; and, 
when this was done, they bade lay hands on the leaders and set 
their comrades free, after taking from them all the goods in their 
possession and restoring them to the merchant, who examined his 
stuffs and monies and found that a fourth of his stock was missing, 
The Kings engaged to make good the whole of his loss, where- 
upon the trader pulled out two letters, one in the handwriting of 

Noah's Ark. The Kurds are of Persian race, speaking an old and barbarous Iranian 
tongue and often of the Shi'ah sect. They are born bandits, highwaymen, cattle-lifters j 
yet they have spread extensively over Syria and Egypt and have produced some glorious 
men, witness Sultan Salah al-Din (Saladin) the Great. They claim affinity with the 
English in the East, because both races always inhabit the highest grounds they can 

1 These irregular bands who belong to no tribe are the most dangerous bandits in 
Arabia, especially upon the northern frontier. Burckhardt, who suffered from them, give* 
a long account of their treachery and utter ateence of that Arab " pundonoj " which is 
supposed to characterise Arab thieves. 

IO2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Sharrkan, and the other in that of Nuzhat al-Zaman ; for this 
was the very merchant who had bought Nuzhat al-Zaman of the 
Badawi, when she was a virgin, and had forwarded her to her 
brother Sharrkan ; and that happened between them which hap- 
pened. 1 Hereupon King Kanmakan examined the letters and 
recognised the handwriting of his uncle Sharrkan, and, having 
heard the history of his aunt, Nuzhat al-Zaman, he went in to 
her with the second letter written by her to the merchant who had 
lost through her his monies ; Kanmakan also told her what had 
befallen the trader from first to last. She knew her own hand- 
writing and, recognising the merchant, despatched to him guest- 
gifts and commended him to her brother and nephew, who ordered 
him largesse of money and black slaves and pages to wait on him ; 
besides which Nuzhat al-Zaman sent him an hundred thousand 
dirhams in cash and fifty loads of merchandise and presented to 
him other rich presents. Then she sent for him and when he 
came, she went up to him and saluted him and told him that she 
was the daughter of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and that her 
brother was King Rumzan and that King Kanmakan was her 
nephew. Thereupon the merchant rejoiced with great joy, and 
congratulated her on her safety and on her re-union with her 
brother, and kissed her hands thanking her for her bounty ; and 
said to her, " By Allah ! a good deed is not lost upon thee ! " 
Then she withdrew to her own apartment and the trader sojourned 
with them three days, after which he took leave of them and set 
out on his return march to the land of Syria. Thereupon the two 
Kings sent for the three robber-chiefs who were of the highway- 
men, and questioned them of their case, when one of them came 
forward and said, " Know ye that I am a Badawi who am wont to 
lie in wait, by the way, to snatch small children 2 and virgin girls 
and sell them to merchants ; and this I did for many a year until 
these latter days, when Satan incited me to join yon two gallows- 
birds in gathering together all the riff-raff of the Arabs and other 
peoples, that we might plunder merchandise and waylay mer- 
chants." Said the Kings, " Tell us the rarest of the adventures 
that have befallen thee in kidnapping children and maidens." 
Replied he, " O Kings of the Age, the strangest thing that hap- 

1 An euphemistic form to avoid mentioning the incestuous mairiage. 
8 I*he Arab form of our" Kinchin lay." 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. IOJ 

pened to me was that one day, two-and-twenty years ago, I 
snatched a girl who belonged to the Holy City; she was gifted 
with beauty and comeliness, despite that she was but a servant 
and was clad in threadbare clothes, with a piece of camlet-cloth 
on her head. So I entrapped her by guile as she came out of the 
caravanserai ; and at that very hour mounting her on a camel, 
made of with her, thinking to carry her to my own people in the 
Desert and there set her to pasture the camels and gather their 
droppings in the valley. But she wept with so sore a weeping 
that after coming down upon her with blows, I took her and 
carried her to Damascus city where a merchant saw her with 
me and, being astounded at her beauty and marvelling at her 
accomplishments, wished to buy her of me and kept on bidding 
me more and more for her, till at last I sold her to him for an 
hundred thousand dirhams. After selling her I heard her dis- 
play prodigious eloquence ; and it reached me that the merchant 
clothed her in handsome gear and presented her to the Viceroy of 
Damascus, who gave him three times the price which he had paid 
to me, and this price, by my life ! was but little for such a damsel. 
This, O Kings of the Age, is the strangest thing that ever befei 
me." When the two Kings heard her story they wondered thereat, 
but when Nuzhat al-Zaman heard what the Badawi related, the 
light became darkness before her face and she cried out and said 
to her brother Rumzan, " Sure and sans doubt this is the very 
Badawi who kidnapped me in the Holy City Jerusalem ! " Then 
she told them all that she had endured from him in her stranger- 
hood of hardship, blows, hunger, humiliation, contempt, adding, 
41 And now it is lawful for me to slay him." So saying she seized 
a sword and made at him to smite him ; and behold, he cried 
out and said, " O Kings of the Age, suffer her not to slay me, 
till I shall have told you the rare adventures that have betided 
me." And her nephew Kanmakan said to her, " O my aunt, let 
him tell us his tale, and after that do with him as thou wilt." So 
she held her hand and the Kings said to him, " Now let us hear 
thy history " Quoth he, " O Kings of the Age, if I tell you a 
rare tale will ye pardon me ? " " Yes," answered they. Then the 
i robber-chief began, 

IO4 A If Lay I ah wa Laylak* 


AND he said : Know ye that a short while ago, I was sore wakeful 
one night and thought the morn would never dawn ; so, as soon 
as it was break of day I rose, without stay or delay ; and, slinging 
over my shoulder my sword, mounted horse and set my lance in 
rest. Then I rode out to sport and hunt and, as I went along, a 
company of men accosted me and asked me whither I was bound. 
I told them and they said, " We will keep thee company.'* So we 
all fared on together, and, whilst we were faring, lo and behold ! up 
started an ostrich and we gave her chase, but she escaped our pur- 
suit and spreading wings ceased not to fly before us (and we fol- 
lowing by sight) till she lost us in a desert wherein there was 
neither grass nor water, nor heard we aught therein save hiss of 
snake and wail of Jinn and howl of Ghul ; and when we reached 
that place the ostrich disappeared nor could we tell whether she 
had flown up into the sky or into the ground had gone down. 
Then we turned our horses' heads and thought to return ; but found 
that to retrace our steps at that time of burning heat would be 
toilsome and dangerous ; for the sultry air was grievous to us, so 
that we thirsted with sore thirst and our steeds stood still. We 
made sure of death ; but while we were in this case we suddenly 
espied from afar a spacious mead where gazelles were frisking. 
Therein was a tent pitched and by the tent side a horse tethered 
and a spear was planted with head glittering in the sun. 1 Upon 
this our hearts revived after we had despaired, and we turned our 
horses' heads towards that tent making for the meadow and the 
water which irrigated it ; and all my comrades fared for it and I at 
their head, and we ceased not faring till we reached the mead. 
Then we alighted at the spring and watered our beasts. But I was 
seized with a fever of foolish curiosity and went up to the door of 
that tent, wherein I saw a young man, without hair on his cheeks, 
who fellowed the new moon ; and on his right hand was a slender- 
waisted maid, as she were a willow-wand. No sooner did I set 
eyes on her than love gat hold upon my heart and I saluted the 
youth, who returned my greeting. Then said I, " O my brother, 
tell me who thou art and what to thee is this damsel sitting by thy 

1 These are th signs of a Shaykh's tent. 

The Tale of Hammad the BadawL 105 

side ? W1 Thereupon the youth bent his head groundwards awhile, 
then raised it and replied, " Tell me first who thou art and what 
are these horsemen with thee ? " Answered I, " I am Hammad 
son of al-Fazdri, the renowned knight, who is reckoned among the 
Arabs as five hundred horse. We went forth from our place this 
morning to sport and chase and were overcome by thirst ; so I 
came to the door of this tent, thinking haply to get of thee a 
draught of water." When he heard these my words, he turned to 
the fair maiden and said, " Bring this man water and what food 
there is ready." So she arose trailing her skirts, whilst the golden 
bangles tinkled on her ankles and her feet stumbled in her long 
locks, and she disappeared for a little while. Presently she returned 
bearing in her right hand a silver vessel full of cold water and in 
her left hand a bowl brimming with milk and dates, together with 
some flesh of wild cattle. But I could take of her nor meat nor 
drink for the excess of my passion, and I applied to her these two 
couplets, saying : 

It was as though the sable dye 2 upon her palms, o Were raven perching on a 

swathe of freshest snow ; 
Thou seest Sun and Moon conjoined in her face, e While Sun fear-dimmed and 

Moon fright-pallid show. 

After I had eaten and drunk I said to the youth, " Know thou, O 
Chief of the Arabs, that I have told thee in all truth who and 
what I am, and now I would fain have thee do the like by me and 
tell me the truth of thy case/' Replied the young man, " As for 
this damsel she is my sister." Quoth I, " It is my desire that thou 
give me her to wife of thy free will : else will I slay thee and take 
her by force." Upon this, he bowed his head groundwards awhile, 
then he raised his eyes to me and answered, " Thou sayest sooth 
in avouching thyself a renowned knight and famed in fight and 
verily thou art the lion of the desert ; but if ye all attack me 
treacherously and slay me in your wrath and take my sister by 
force, it will be a stain upon your honour. An you be, as ye aver, 
cavaliers who are counted among the Champions and reck not the 

1 These questions, indiscreet in Europe, are the rale throughout Arabia, as they were 
in the United States of the last generation. 

8 Arab. " Khizab" a paste of quicklime and lamp-black kneaded with linseed oil 
which turns the Henna to a dark olive. It is hideously ugly to unaccustomed eyes aiaJ 
held to be remarkably beautiful in Egypt. 

!06 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

shock of foray and fray, give me a little time to don my armour 
and sling on my sword and set lance in rest and mount war-steed. 
Then will we go forth into the field of fight, I and you ; and, if I 
conquer you, I will kill you to the last man ; but if you overcome 
me and slay me, this damsel, my sister, is yours." Hearing such 
Words I replied, " This is only just, and we oppose it not." Then I 
turned back my horse's head (for my love for the damsel waxed 
hotter and hotter) and returned to my companions, to whom I set 
forth her beauty and loveliness as also the comeliness of the young 
man who was with her, together with his valour and strength of 
soul and how he had avouched himself a match for a thousand 
horse. Moreover, I described to my company the tent and all the 
riches and rarities therein and said to them, " Know ye that this 
youth would not have cut himself off from society and have taken 
up his abode alone in this place, were he not a man of great 
prowess : so I propose that whoso slayeth the younker shall take 
his sister." And they said, " This contenteth us." Then my 
company armed themselves and mounting, rode to the tent, where 
we found that the young man had donned his gear and backed his 
steed ; but his sister ran up to him (her veil being drenched with 
tears), and took hold of his stirrup and cried out, saying, " Alas ! " 
and, " Woe worth the day ! " in her fear for her brother, and recited 
these couplets : 

To Allah will I make my moan of travail and of woe j o Maybe Ilah of Arsh 1 

will smite their faces with affright : 
Fain would they slay thee, brother mine, with purpose felon-fell ; o Albe no 

cause of vengeance was, nor fault forewent the fight. 
Yet for a rider art thou known to those who back the steed, o And twixt the 

East and West of knights thou art the prowest knight : 
Thy sister's honour thou shalt guard though little might be hers, o For thou'rt 

her brother and for thee she sueth Allah's might : 
Then let not enemy possess my soul nor 'thrall my frame, o And work on me 

their will and treat thy sister with despight. 
ill ne'er abide, by Allah's truth, in any land or home o Where thou art not, 1 

though dight it be with joyance and delight : 
For love and yearning after thee myself I fain will slay, o And in the gloomy 

darksome tomb spread bed upon the clay. 

But when her brother heard her verse he wept with sore weeping 

. the God of the Empyrean. 

The Tale of Hammad the Badawi. 107 

and turned his horse's head towards his sister and made this answer 
to her poetry : 

Stand by and see the derring-do which I to-day will show, o When meet we 

and I deal them blows that rend and cleave and split ; 
E'en though rush out to seek a bout the lion of the war, o The stoutest 

hearted brave of all and eke the best in wit ; 
To him I'll deal without delay a Sa'alabiyan blow,* o And dye my 

cane-spear's joint in blood by wound of foe bespit : 
If all I beat not off from thee, O sister, may this frame o Be slain, and 

cast my corpse to birds, for so it would befit : 
Yes, for thy dearest sake I'll strike my blows with might and main, o And when 

we're gone shall this event in many a book be writ. 

And when he had ended his verse, he said, " O my sister, give ear 
to what I shall enjoin on thee "; whereto she replied, " Hearkening 
and obedience." Quoth he, "If I fall, let none possess thy 
person;" and thereupon she buffeted her face and said, " Allah 
forbid, O my brother, that I should see thee laid low and yield 
myself to thy foe ! " With this the youth put out his hand to her 
and withdrew her veil from her face, whereupon it shone forth as 
the sun shineth out from the white clouds. Then he kissed her 
between the eyes and bade her farewell ; after which he turned to 
us and said, " Holla, Knights ! Come ye as guests or crave ye cuts 
and thrusts ? If ye come to us as your hosts, rejoice ye in the 
guest-rite ; and, if ye covet the shining moon, come ye out against 
me, knight by knight, into this plain and place of fight." There- 
upon rushed out to him a doughty rider and the young man said 
to him, " Tell me thy name and thy father's name, for I am under 
an oath not to slay any whose name tallies with mine and whose 
father's name is that of my father ; and if this be the case with 
thee, I will give thee up the maid." Quoth the horseman, " My 
name is Bildl ;" J and the young man answered him, saying : 

1 A blow worthy of the Sa'alabah tribe to which he belonged. 

8 i.e. "benefits"; also the name of Mohammed's Mu'ezzin, or crier to prayer, who 
is buried outside the Jabiah gate of Damascus. Hence amongst Moslems Abyssinian* 
were preferred as mosque-criers in the early ages of Al- Islam. Egypt chose blind men 
because they were abundant and cheap; moreover they cannot take note of what is 
doing on the adjoining roof- terraces where women and children love to pass the cool 
hours that begin and end the day. Stories are told of men who counterfeited blindness 
for years in order to keep the employment. In Moslem cities the stranger required to 
be careful how he appeared at a window or on the gallery of a minaret : the people 
kate to be overlooked aad the whizzing of a bullet was the warning to be off. Pilgrim* 
age Hi. 185. 

io8 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

Thou liest when speaking of " benefits," while Thou comest to front with 
thine evillest will : 

An of prowess thou'rt prow, to my words give ear, Tm he who makes cham- 
pions in battle-field reel 

With keen blade, like the horn of the cusped moon, So 'ware thrust that shall 
drill through the durest hill ! 

Then they charged down, each at each, and the youth thrust his 
adversary in the breast so that the lance-head issued from his 
back. With this, another came out, and the youth cried : 

Ho thou hound, who art rotten with foulness in grain, 1 * What high meed i$ 

there easy for warrior to gain ? 
*Tis none save the lion of strain purest pure * Who uncareth for life 

in the battle-plain ! 

Nor was it long before the youth left him drowned in his blood 
and cried out, " Who will come forth to me ? " So a third horse- 
man rushed out upon the youth and began saying : 

To thee come I forth with my heart a-flame, And summon my friends 

and my comrades by name : 
When thou slewest the chief of the Arabs this day, # This day thou remainest 

jthe pledge of my claim. 

Now when the youth heard this he answered him in these words : 

Thou liest, O foulest of Satans that are, * And with leasings calum- 
nious thou comest to war : 

This day thou shalt fall by a death-dealing point o Where the lances lunge and 
the scymitars jar ! 

Then he so foined him in the breast that the spear-point issued 
from his back and he cried out, saying, " Ho ! will none come 
out ? " So a fourth fared forwards and the youth asked him his 
name and he answered, " My name is Hildl, the New Moon." And 
the youth began repeating : 

Thou hast failed who would sink me in ruin-sea, o Thou who earnest in malice 

with perfidy : 
I) whose verses hast heard from the mouth of me, o Will ravish thy soul though 

unknown to thee. 

Then they drave at each other and delivered two cuts, but 
the youth's stroke devanced that of the rider his adversary and 

1 His instinct probably told him that this opponent was a low fellow ; but such insults 
Arc common when " renowning U." 

The Tale of Hammad the Badawi. 109 

slew him : and thus he went on to kill all who sallied out against 
him. Now when I saw my comrades slain, I said to myself, " If I 
go down to fight with him, I shall not be able to prevail against 
him ; and, if I flee, I shall become a byword of shame among the 
Arabs." But the youth gave me no time to think, for he ran 
at me and dragged me from my saddle and hurled me to the 
ground. I fainted at the fall and he raised his sword designing to 
cut off my head ; but I clung to his skirts, and he lifted me in his 
hand as though I were a sparrow. When the maiden saw this, she 
rejoiced in her brother's prowess and coming up to him, kissed 
him between the eyes. Then he delivered me to her, saying, 
" Take him and look to him and entreat him hospitably, for he 
is come under our rule." So she took hold of the collar of my 
hauberk l and led me away by it as one would lead a dog. Then 
she did off her brother's coat of mail and clad him in a robe, and 
set for him a stool of ivory, on which he sat down ; and she said 
to him, " Allah whiten thy honour and prevent from thee the 
shifts of fortune ! " And he answered her with these couplets : 

My sister said, as saw she how I stood o In fight, when sun-rays lit my 

" Allah assain thee for a Brave of braves o To whom in vale bow lions 

howso wood ! " 
Quoth I, " Go ask the champions of my case, o When feared the Lords of war 

my warrior-mood ! 
My name is famed for fortune and for force, o And soared my spirit to such 

altitude ; " 
Ho thou, Hamma'd, a lion hast upstirred, o Shall show thee speedy death 

like viper-brood ! 

1 Arab. " Dara 1 " or " Dira'," a habergeon, a coat of ring-mail, sometimes worn in 
pairs. During the wretched " Sudan " campaigns much naive astonishment was 
expressed by the English Press to hear of warriors armed cap-a-pie in this armour like 
medieval knights. They did not know that every great tribe has preserved, possibly from 
Crusading times, a number of hauberks, even to hundreds. I have heard of only one 
English traveller who had a mail-jacket made by Wilkinson of Pall Mall, imitating in 
this point Napoleon III. and (according to the Banker-poet, Rogers) the Duke of Wel- 
lington. That of Napoleon is said to have been made of platinum-wire, the work of a 
Pole who received his money and an order to quit Paris. The late Sir Robert Clifton 
(they say) tried its value with a Colt after placing it upon one of his coat-models or 
mannequins. It is easy to make these hauberks arrow-proof or sword-proof, even 
bullet-proof if Arab gunpowder be used : but against a modern rifle-cone they are 
worse than worthless as the fragments would be carried into the wound. The British 
Serjeant was right in saying that he would prefer to enter battle in his shirt : and he 
might even doff that to advantage and return to the primitive custom of man gym- 

HO A If Laylak wa Layfak. 

Now when I heard his verse, I was perplexed as to my case and, 
considering my condition and how I was become a captive, I was 
lowered in my own esteem. Then I looked at the damsel, his 
sister, and seeing her beauty I said to myself, " 'Tis she who caused 
all this trouble ; and I fell a-marvelling at her loveliness till the 
tears streamed from my eyes and I recited these couplets : 

Dear friend ! ah leave thy loud reproach and blame ; o Such blame but irks 

me yet may not alarm : 
I'm clean distraught for one whom saw I not o Without her winning 

me by winsome charm : 
Yestreen her brother crossed me in her love, o A Brave stout-hearted 

and right long of arm. 

Then the maiden set food before her brother and he bade me eat 
with him, whereat I rejoiced and felt assured that I should not be 
slain. And when he had ended eating, she brought him a flagon 
of pure wine and he applied him to it till the fumes of the drink 
mounted to his head and his face flushed red. Then he turned to 
me and said, " Woe to thee, O Hammad ! dost thou know me 
or not ? " Replied I, " By thy life, I am rich in naught save 
ignorance ! " Quoth he " O Hammad, I am 'Abbad bin Tamfm 
bin 'Sa'labah and indeed Allah giveth thee thy liberty and leadeth 
thee to a happy bride and spareth thee confusion." Then he 
drank to my long life and gave me a cup of wine and I drank it 
off; and presently he filled me a second and a third and a fourth, 
and I drained them all ; while he made merry with me and swore 
me never to betray him. So I sware to him one thousand five 
hundred oaths that I would never deal perfidiously with him at 
any time, but that I would be a friend and a helper to him. 
Thereupon he bade his sister bring me ten suits of silk ; so she 
brought them and laid them on my person, and this dress I have 
on my body is one of them. Moreover, he made bring one of 
the best of his she-dromedaries > carrying stuffs and provaunt, he 

1 Arab." Jamal " (by Badawin pronounced " Gamal " like the Hebrew) is the generic 
term for " Camel " through the Gr. Kaju^Ao? : " Ibl " is also the camel-species but not so 
commonly used. " Hajin " is the dromedary (in Egypt, " Dalul" in Arabia), not the 
one-humped camel of the zoologist (C. dromedarius) as opposed to the two-humped 
(C. Bactrianus)) but a running i.e. a riding camel. The feminine is Nakah, for like 
mules females are preferred. " Bakr " (masc.) and "Bakrah" (fern.) are camel-colts. 
There are hosts of special names besides those which are general. Mr. Ensor is singular 
when he states (p. 40) " the male (of the camel) is much the safer animal to choose ; " 
and the custom of the universal East disproves his assertion. Mr. McCoan (" Egypt as 
it is") tells his readers that the Egyptian camel has two humps ; in.fact, he describes the 
camel as it is not. 

The Tale vf Hammad the Badawi. ill 

bade her also bring a sorrel horse, and when they were brought he 
gave the whole of them to me. I abode with them three days, 
eating and drinking, and what he gave me of gifts is with me to 
this present. At the end of the three days he said to me, " O 
Hammad, O my brother, I would sleep awhile and take my rest 
and verily I trust my life to thee ; but, if thou see horsemen making 
hither, fear not, for know that they are of the Banu Sa'labah, 
seeking to wage war on me. Then he laid his sword under his 
head-pillow and slept ; and when he was drowned in slumber Iblis 
tempted me to slay him ; so I arose in haste, and drawing the 
sword from under his head, dealt him a blow that made his head 
fall from his body. But his sister knew what I had done, and 
rushing out from within the tent, threw herself on his corpse, 
rending her raiment and repeating these couplets : 

To kith and kin bear thou sad tidings of our plight ; o From doom th* All- 
wise decreed shall none of men take flight : 

Low art thou laid, O brother ! strewn upon the stones, o With face that mirrors 
moon when shining brightest bright ! 

Good sooth, it is a day accurst, thy slaughter-day o Shivering thy spear 
that won the day in many a fight ! 

Now thou be slain no rider shall delight in steed, o Nor man-child shall 
the breeding woman bring to light. 

This morn Hamma'd uprose and foully murthered thee, o Falsing his oath and 
troth with foulest perjury. 

When she had ended her verse she said to me, " O thou of accursed 
forefathers, wherefore didst thou play my brother false and slay him 
when he purposed returning thee to thy native land with provisions ; 
and it was his intent also to marry thee to me at the first of the 
month ? " Then she drew a sword she had with her, and planting 
the hilt in the earth, with the point set to her breast, she bent 
over it and threw herself thereon till the blade issued from her 
back and she fell to the ground, dead. I mourned for her and 
wept and repented when repentance availed me naught. Then I 
arose in haste and went to the tent and, taking whatever was light 
of load and weighty of worth, went my way ; but in my haste and 
horror I took no heed of my dead comrades, nor did I bury the 
maiden and the youth. And this my tale is still more wondrous 
than the story of the serving-girl I kidnapped from the Holy City, 
Jerusalem. But when Nuzhat al-Zaman heard these words from 

the Badawi, the light was changed in her eyes to night And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

H2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Noto fojen it foas tfje f^utrtrefc antj jfortg-fiftt) TSTigirt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Nuzhat al-Zaman heard these words from the Badawi, the light 
was changed in her eyes to night, and she rose and drawing the 
sword, smote Hammad the Arab between the shoulder-blades 
so that the point issued from the apple of his throat. 1 And when 
all present asked her, " Why hast thou made haste to slay him ; " 
she answered, " Praised be Allah who hath granted me in my life- 
tide to avenge myself with mine own hand ! " And she bade the 
slaves drag the body out by the feet and cast it to the dogs. 
Thereupon they turned to the two prisoners who remained of the 
three ; and one of them was a black slave, so they said to him, 
" What is thy name, fellow ? Tell us the truth of thy case." He 
replied, " As for me my name is Al-Ghazban," and acquainted 
them what had passed between himself and Queen Abrizah, 
daughter of King Hardub, Lord of Greece, and how he had slain 
her and fled. Hardly had the negro made an end of his story, 
when King Rumzan struck off his head with his scymitar, saying, 
Praise to Allah who gave me life ! I have avenged my mother 
with my own hand." Then he repeated to them what his nurse 
Marjanah had told him of this same slave whose name was Al- 
Ghazban ; after which they turned to the third prisoner. Now 
this was the very camel-driver 2 whom the people of the Holy 
City, Jerusalem, hired to carry Zau al-Makan and lodge him in the 
hospital at Damascus of Syria ; but he threw him down on the 
ashes-midden and went his way. And they said to him, "Acquaint 
us with thy case and tell the truth." So he related to them all 
that had happened to him with Sultan Zau al-Makan ; how he had 
been carried from the Holy City, at the time when he was sick, 
till they made Damascus and he had been thrown into the hospital ; 
how also the Jerusalem folk had paid the cameleer money to 
transport the stranger to Damascus, and he had taken it and fled 
after casting his charge upon the midden by the side of the ash- 
heap of the Hammam. But when he ended his words, Sultan 

1 So, in the Romance of Dalhamah (Zat al-Himmah, the heroine) the hero Al-Gundubah 
(" one locust-man") smites off the head of his mother's servile murderer and cries, " I 
have taken my blood-revenge upon this traitor slave !'' (Lane, M. E. chapt. xxiii.). 

2 This gathering all the persons upon the stage before the curtain drops is highly 
artistic and improbable* 

Tale of King Omar bin al-Nu'uman and his Sons. 1 1 3 

Kanmakan took his sword forthright and cut off his head, saying, 
" Praised be Allah who hath given me life, that I might requite 
this traitor what he did with my father, for I have heard this very 
story from King Zau al-Makan himself." Then the Kings said 
each to other, "It remaineth only for us to wreak our revenge 
upon the old woman Shawahi, yclept Zat al-Dawahi, because she] 
is the prime cause of all these calamities and cast us into adversity 
on this wise. Who will deliver her into our hands that we may 
avenge ourselves upon her and wipe out our dishonour ? " And 
King Rumzan said, " Needs must we bring her hither." So without 
stay or delay he wrote a letter to his grandmother, the aforesaid 
ancient woman, giving her to know therein that he had subdued 
the kingdoms of Damascus and Mosul and Irak, and had broken 
up the host of the Moslems and captured their princes, adding, 
" I desire thee of all urgency to come to me, bringing with thee 
Queen Sophia, daughter of King Afridun, and whom thou wilt of 
the Nazarene chiefs, but no armies ; for the country is quiet and 
wholly under our hand." And when she read the letter and 
recognised the writing of King Rumzan, she rejoiced with great 
joy and forthright equipping herself and Queen Sophia, set out 
with their attendants and journeyed, without stopping, till they 
drew near Baghdad. Then she foresent a messenger to acquaint 
the King of her arrival, whereupon quoth Rumzan, "We should 
do well to don the habit of the Franks and fare forth to meet the 
old woman, to the intent that we may be assured against her 
craft and perfidy." Whereto Kanmakan replied, " Hearing is 
consenting." So they clad themselves in Prankish clothes and, 
when Kuzia Fakan saw them, she exclaimed, " By the truth of 
the Lord of Worship, did I not know you, I should take you to 
be indeed Franks!" Then they sallied forth with a thousand 
horse, King Rumzan riding on before them, to meet the old 
woman. As soon as his eyes fell on hers, he dismounted and 
walked towards her and she, recognizing him, dismounted also and 
embraced him ; but he pressed her ribs with his hands, till he well 
nigh broke them. Quoth she, "What is this, O my son ?" But 
before she had done speaking, up came Kanmakan and Dandan ; 
and the horsemen with them cried out at the women and slaves 
and took them all prisoners. Then the two Kings returned to 
Baghdad, with their captives, and Rumzan bade them decorate the 
city which they did for three days, at the end of which they 
brought out the old woman Shawahi, hight Zat al-Dawahi, with a 

H4 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

peaked red turband of palm-leaves on her head, diademed with 
asses'-dung and preceded by a herald proclaiming aloud, " This is 
the reward of those who presume to lay hands on Kings and the 
sons of Kings ! " Then they crucified her on one of the gates of 
Baghdad ; and, when her companions saw what befel her, all 
embraced in a body the faith of Al-Islam. As for Kanmakan and 
his uncle Rumzan and his aunt Nuzhat al-Zaman and the Wazir 
Dandan, they marvelled at the wonderful events that had betided 
them and bade the scribes chronicle them in books that those who 
came after might read. Then they all abode for the remainder of 
their days in the enjoyment of every solace and comfort of life, 
till there overtook them the Destroyer of all delights and the 
Sunderer of all societies. And this is the whole that hath come 
down to us of the dealings of fortune with King Omar bin al- 
Nu'uman and his sons Sharrkan and Zau al-Makan and his son's 
son Kanmakan and his daughter Nuzhat al-Zaman and her 
daughter Kuzia Fakan. Thereupon quoth Shahryar to Shahrazad, 
" I desire that thou tell me somewhat about birds ;" and hearing 
this Dunyazad said to her sister, " I have never seen the Sultan 
light at heart all this while till the present night ; and his pleasure 
garreth me hope that the issue for thee with him may be a happy 
issue." Then drowsiness overcame the Sultan, so he slept j 1 - 
And Shahrazad perceived the approach of day and ceased saying 
her permitted say. 

Jiofo fofjw ft foas tfje 3untoeto aitt jfortg^fxtft 

Shahrazad began to relate, in these words, 



QUOTH she, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that in times 
of yore and in ages long gone before, a peacock abode with his 
wife on the sea-shore. Now the place was infested with lions 

1 He oxight to have said his dawn prayers. 

2 Here begins what I hold to be the oldest subject-matter in The Nights, the apologues 
or fables proper ; but I reserve further remarks for the terminal Essay. Lane has most 
objectionably thrown this and sundry of the following stories into a note (vol. ii., 
PP. S3-69)- 

The TaU of the Birds and Beasts and the Carpenter. 1 1 5 

and all manner wild beasts, withal it abounded in trees and 
streams. So cock and hen were wont to roost by night upon one 
of the trees, being in fear of the beasts, and went forth by day 
questing food. And they ceased not thus to do till their fear 
increased on them and they searched for some place wherein to 
dwell other than their old dwelling-place; and in the course of their 
search behold, they happened ort an island abounding in streams 
and trees. So they alighted there and ate of its fruits and drank 
of its waters. But whilst they were thus engaged, lo ! up came to 
them a duck in a state of extreme terror, and stayed not faring 
forwards till she reached the tree whereon were perched the two 
peafowl, when she seemed re-assured in mind. The peacock 
doubted not but that she had some rare story ; so he asked her of 
her case and the cause of her concern, whereto she answered, " I 
am sick for sorrow, and my horror of the son of Adam i 1 so beware, 
and again I say beware of the sons of Adam ! " Rejoined the 
peacock, "Fear not now that thou hast won our protection." 
Cried the duck, " Alhamdolillah ! glory to God, who hath done 
away my cark and care by means of you being near ! For indeed 
I come of friendship fain with you twain " And when she had 
ended her speech the peacock's wife came down to her and said, 
" Well come and welcome and fair cheer ! No harm shall hurt 
thee : how can son of Adam come to us and we in this isle which 
lieth amiddlemost of the sea ? From the land he cannot reach 
us neither can he come against us from the water. So be of good 
cheer and tell us what hath betided thee from the child of Adam." 
Answered the duck, " Know, then, O thou peahen, that of a truth 
I have dwelt all my life in this island safely and peacefully, nor 
have I seen any disquieting thing, till one night, as I was asleep, 
I sighted in my dream the semblance of a son of Adam, who 
talked with me and I with him. Then I heard a voice say to me: 
i O thou duck, beware of the son of Adam and be not imposed on 
[ by his words nor by that he may suggest to thee ; for he aboundeth 
in wiles and guiles ; so beware with all wariness of his perfidy, for 
again I say, he is crafty and right cunning even as singeth of him 
the poet : 

He'll offer sweetmeats with his edged tongue, o And fox thee with the foxy 
guile of fox. 

In beast stories generally when man appears he shows to disadvantage. 

II 6 A If Lay I ak wa Laylak. 

And know thou that the son of Adam circumventeth the fishes 
and draweth them forth of the seas ; and he shooteth the birds 
with a pellet of clay, 1 and trappeth the elephant with his craft. 
None is safe from his mischief and neither bird nor beast escapetb 
him ; and on this wise have I told thee what I have heard con- 
cerning the son of Adam. So I awoke, fearful and trembling, 
and from that hour to this my heart hath not known gladness, for 
dread of the son of Adam, lest he surprise me unawares by his 
wile or trap me in his snares. By the time the end of the day 
overtook me, my strength was grown weak and my spunk failed 
me ; so, desiring to eat and drink, I went forth walking, troubled 
in spirit and with a heart ill at ease. Now when I reached yonder 
mountain I saw a tawny lion-whelp at the door of a cave ; and 
sighting me he joyed in me with great joy, for my colour pleased 
him and my gracious shape ; so he cried out to me saying : Draw 
nigh unto me. I went up to him and he asked me, What is thy 
name, and what is thy nature ? Answered I, My name is Duck, 
and I am of the bird-kind ; and I added, But thou, why tarriest 
thou in this place till this time ? Answered the whelp, My father 
the lion hath for many a day warned me against the son of Adam, 
and it came to pass this night that I saw in my sleep the semblance 
of a son of Adam. And he went on to tell me the like of that I 
have told you. When I heard these words, I said to him, O lion, 
I take asylum with thee, that thou mayest kill the son of Adam 
and be steadfast in resolve to his slaughter ; verily I fear him for 
myself with extreme fear and to my fright affright is added for that 
thou also dreadest the son of Adam, albeit thou art Sultan of 
savage beasts. Then I ceased not, O my sister, to bid the young 
lion beware of the son of Adam and urge him to slay him, till he 
rose of a sudden and at once from his stead and went out and he 
fared on, and I after him and I noted him lashing flanks with tail. 
We advanced in the same order till we came to a place where the 
roads forked and saw a cloud of dust arise which, presently clear- 
ing away, discovered below it a runaway naked ass, now galloping 
and running at speed and now rolling in the dust. When the lion 
saw the ass, he cried out to him, and he came up to him in all hu- 
mility. Then said the lion : Harkye, crack-brain brute ! What is 
thy kind and what be the cause of thy coming hither ? He replied, 

1 Shakespeare's "stone bow" not Lane's "cross-bow" (ii. 53). 

The Tale of the Birds and Beasts and tke Carpenter. 117 

O son of the Sultan ! 1 am by kind an ass Asinus Caballus 
and the cause of my coming to this place is that I am fleeing from 
the son of Adam. Asked the lion-whelp, Dost thou fear then that 
he will kill thee ? Answered the ass, Not so, O son of the Sultan, 
but I dread lest he put a cheat on me and mount upon me ; for he 
hath a thing called Pack-saddle, which he setteth on my back ; 
also a thing called Girths which he bindeth about my belly ; and a 
thing called Crupper which he putteth under my tail, and a thing 
called Bit which he placeth in my mouth : and he fashioneth me a 
goad ] and goadeth me with it and maketh me run more than my 
strength. If I stumble he curseth me, and if I bray, he revilcth 
me ; 2 and at last when I grow old and can no longer run, he 
putteth on me a pannel 3 of wood and delivereth me to the water- 
carriers, who load my back with water from the river in skins and 
other vessels, such as jars, and I cease not to wone in misery and 
abasement and fatigue till I die, when they cast me on the rubbish- 
heaps to the dogs. So what grief can surpass this grief and what 
calamities can be greater than these calamities ? Now when I heard, 
O peahen, the ass's words, my skin shuddered, and became as 
gooseflesh at the son of Adam ; and I said to the lion-whelp, O my 
lord, the ass of a verity hath excuse and his words add terror to my~ 
terror. Then quoth the young lion to the ass, Whither goest thou ?" 
Quoth he, Before sunrise I espied the son of Adam afar off, and 
fled from him ; and now I am minded to flee forth and runjvithout 
ceasing for the greatness of my fear of him, so haply I may find me 
a place of shelter from the perfidious son of Adam. Whilst the 
ass was thus discoursing with the lion-whelp, seeking the while to 

1 The goad still used by the rascally Egyptian donkey-boy is a sharp nail at the end of 
ft stick ; and claims the special attention of societies for the protection of animals. 

8 "The most ungrateful of all voices surely is the voice of asses " (Koran xxxi. 18) ; 
and hence the "braying of hell" (Koran Ixvii. 7). The vulgar still believe that the 
donkey brays when seeing the Devil. " The last animal which entered the Ark with Noah 
was the Ass to whose tail Iblis was clinging. At the threshold the ass seemed troubled 
and could enter no further when Noah said to him : Fie upon thee ! come in. But as 
the ass was still troubled and did not advance Noah cried : Come in, though the Devil 
be with thee!; so the ass entered and with him Iblis. Thereupon Noah asked: O 
enemy of Allah who brought thee into the Ark ?; and Iblis answered : Thou art the 
man, for thou saidest to the ass, come in though the Devil be with thee ! (Kitab al- 
Unwan fi Makaid al-Niswan quoted by Lane ii. 54). 

3 Arab. Rihl," a wooden saddle stuffed with straw and matting. In Europe the ass 
might complain that his latter end is the sausage. In England they say no man sees a 
dead donkey : I have seen dozens and, unfortunately, my own. 

Ii8 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

take leave of us and go away, behold, appeared to us another cloud 
of dust, whereat the ass brayed and cried out and looked hard and 
let fly a loud fart. 1 After a while the dust lifted and discovered a 
black steed finely dight with a blaze on the forehead like a dirham 
round and bright ; 2 handsomely marked about the hoof with white 
and with firm strong legs pleasing to sight and he neighed with 
affright. This horse ceased not running till he stood before the 
whelp, the son of the lion who, when he saw him, marvelled and 
made much of him and said, What is thy kind, O majestic wild 
beast and wherefore fleest thou into this desert wide and vast ? He 
replied, O lord of wild beasts, I am a steed of the horse-kind, and 
the cause of my running is that I am fleeing from the son of Adam. 
The lion-whelp wondered at the horse's speech and cried to him : 
Speak not such words for it is shame to thee, seeing that thou art 
tall and stout. And how cometh it that thou fearest the son of 
Adam, thou, with thy bulk of body and thy swiftness of running, 
when I, for all my littleness of stature am resolved to encounter 
the son of Adam and, rushing on him, eat his flesh, that I may allay 
the affright of this poor duck and make her dwell in peace in her 

1 The English reader will not forget Sterne's old mare. Even Al-Hariri, the prince of 
Arab rhetoricians, does not disdain to use "pepedit," the effect being put for the cause 
terror. But Mr Preston (p. 285) and polite men translate by "fled in haste" the 
Arabic " farted for fear." 

2 This is one of the lucky signs and adds to the value of the beast. There are some 
fifty of these marks, some of them (like a spiral of hair in the breast which denotes that 
the rider is a cuckold) so ill-omened that the animal can be bought for almost nothing. 
Of course great attention is paid to colours, the best being the dark rich bay ("red " of 
Arabs) with black points, or the flea-bitten grey (termed Azrak = blue or Akhzar = green) 
which whitens with age The worst are dun, cream coloured, piebald and black, which 
last are very rare. Yet according to the Mishkat al-Masabih (Lane 2, 54) Mohammed 
said, "The best horses are black (dark brown?) with white blazes (Arab. "Ghurrah") 
and upper lips ; next, black with blaze aqd three white legs (bad, because white-hoofs 
are brittle) : next, bay with white blaze and white fore and hind legs." He also said, 
" Prosperity is with sorrel horses j" and praised a sorrel with white forehead and 
legs ; but he dispraised the " Shikal " which has white stockings (Arab. " Muhajjil") on 
alternate hoofs (e.g. right hind and left fore). The curious reader will consult Lady Anne 
Blunt's " Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates, with some Account of the Arabs and their 
Horses " (1879) ; but he must remember that it treats of the frontier tribes. The late 
Major Upton also left a book, " Gleanings from the Desert of Arabia " (1881) ; but it is! 
a marvellous production deriving e.g. Khayl (a horse generically) from Kohl or antimony J 
(p. 275). What the Editor was dreaming of I cannot imagine. I have given some 
details concerning the Arab horse especially in Al-Yaman, among the Zu Mohammed, 
the Zu Husayn and the Banu Yam in Pilgrimage iii. 270. As late as Marco Polo's day 
they supplied the Indian market vi& Aden - r but the "Eye of Al-Yaman " has totally lost 
the habit of exporting horses. 

The Tale of the Birds and Beasts and the Carpenter. 119 

own place ? But now thou hast come here and thou hast wrung my 
heart with thy talk and turned me back from what I had resolved to 
do, seeing that, for all thy bulk, the son of Adam hath mastered thee 
and hath feared neither thy height nor thy breadth, albeit, wert 
thou to kick him with one hoof thou wouldst kill him, nor could 
he prevail against thee, but thou wouldst make him drink the cup of 
death. The horse laughed when he heard the whelp's words and 
replied, Far, far is it from my power to overcome him, O Prince, 
Let not my length and my breadth nor yet my bulk delude thee with 
respect to the son of Adam ; for that he, of the excess of his guile 
and his wiles, fashioneth me a thing called Hobble and applieth to 
my four legs a pair of ropes made of palm-fibres bound with felt, 
and gibbeteth me by the head to a high peg, so that I being tied 
up remain standing and can neither sit nor lie down. And when, 
he is minded to ride me, he bindeth on his feet a thing of iron 
called Stirrup 1 and layeth on my back another thing called Saddle, 
which he fasteneth by two Girths passed under my armpits. Then 
he setteth in my mouth a thing of iron he calleth Bit, to which he 
tieth a thing of leather called Rein ; and, when he sitteth in the 
saddle on my back, he taketh the rein in his hand and guideth me 
with it, goading my flanks the while with the shovel-stirrups till 
he maketh them bleed. So do not ask, O son of our Sultan, the 
hardships I endure from the son of Adam. And when I grow old 
and lean and can no longer run swiftly, he selleth me to the miller 
who maketh me turn in the mill, and I cease not from turning 
night and day till I grow decrepit. Then he in turn vendeth me 
to the knacker who cutteth my throat and flayeth off my hide and 
plucketh out my tail, which he selleth to the sieve-maker ; and he 
melteth down my fat for tallow-candles. When the young lion 
heard the horse's words, his rage and vexation redoubled and he 
said, When didst thou leave the son of Adam ? Replied the horse, 
At mid-day and he is upon my track. Whilst the whelp was thus 
conversing with the horse lo ! there rose a cloud of dust and, 
presently opening out, discovered below it a furious camel gurgling 
and pawing the earth with his feet and never ceasing so to do till 
he came up with us. Now when the lion-whelp saw how big and 
buxom he was, he took him to be the son of Adam and was about 
to spring upon him when I said to him, O Prince, of a truth this 
is not the son of Adam, this be a camel, and he seemeth to be 

1 The shovel-iron which is the only form of spur. 

I2O A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

fleeing from the son of Adam. As I was thus conversing, O my 
sister, with the lion-whelp, the camel came up and saluted him ; 
whereupon he returned the greeting and said : What bringeth 
thee hither? Replied he, I came here fleeing from the son of 
Adam. Quoth the whelp, And thou, with thy huge frame and 
length and breadth, how cometh it that thou fearest the son of 
Adam, seeing that with one kick of thy foot thou wouldst kill him ? 
Quoth the camel, O son of the Sultan, know that the son of Adam 
hath subtleties and wiles, which none can withstand nor can any 
prevail against him, save only Death ; for he putteth into my 
nostrils a twine of goat's hair he calleth Nose-ring, 1 and over my 
head a thing he calleth Halter; then he delivereth me to the least 
of his little children, and the youngling draweth me along by the 
nose-ring, my size and strength notwithstanding. Then they load 
me with the heaviest of burdens and go long journeys with me 
and put me to hard labour through the hours of the night and the 
day. When I grow old and stricken in years and disabled from 
working, my master keepeth me not with him, but selleth me to 
the knacker who cutteth my throat and vendeth my hide to the 
tanners and my flesh to the cooks : so do not ask the hardships I 
suffer from the son of Adam. When didst thou leave the son of 
Adam ? asked the young lion ; and he answered, At sundown, 
and I suppose that coming to my place after my departure and 
not finding me there, he is now in search of me : wherefore let me 
go, O son of the Sultan, that I may flee into the wolds and the 
wilds. Said the whelp, Wait awhile, O camel, till thou see how 
I will tear him, and give thee to eat of his flesh, whilst I craunch 
his bones and drink his blood. Replied the camel, O King's son, 
I fear for thee from the child of Adam, for he is wily and guile- 
full. And he began repeating these verses : 

When the tyrant enters the lieges' land, o Naught remains for the lieges but 
quick remove! 

Now whilst the- camel was speaking with the lion-whelp, behold, 
there rose a cloud of dust which, after a time, opened and showed an 
old man scanty of stature and lean of limb; and he bore on his shoul- 
der a basket of carpenter's tools and on his head a branch of a tree 
and eight planks. He led little children by the hand and came on 

1 Used for the dromedary : the baggage-camel is haltered. 

The Tale of the Birds and Beasts and the Carpenter. 121 

at a trotting pace, 1 never stopping till he drew near the whelp. 
When I saw him, O my sister, I fell down for excess of fear ; but the 
young lion rose and walked forward to meet the carpenter and 
when he came up to him, the man smiled in his face and said to 
him, with a glib tongue and in courtly terms: O King who defendeth 
from harm and lord of the long arm, Allah prosper thine evening 
and thine endeavouring and increase thy valiancy and strengthen 
thee ! Protect me from that which hath distressed me and with its 
mischief hath oppressed me, for I have found no helper save only 
thyself. And the carpenter stood in his presence weeping and 
wailing and complaining. When the whelp heard his sighing and 
his crying he said, I will succour thee from that thou fearest. Who 
hath done thee wrong and what art thou, O wild beast, whose like 
in my life I never saw, nor ever espied one goodlier of form or 
more eloquent of tongue than thou ? What is thy case ? Replied 
the man, O lord of wild beasts, as to myself I am a carpenter ; but 
as to who hath wronged me, verily he is a son of Adam, and by 
break of dawn after this coming night 2 he will be with thee in this 
place. When the lion-whelp heard these words of the carpenter, 
the light was changed to night before his sight and he snorted and 
roared with ire and his eyes cast forth sparks of fire. Then he cried 
out saying, By Allah, I will assuredly watch through this coming 
night till dawn, nor will I return to my father till I have won my 
will. Then he turned to the carpenter and asked, Of a truth I see 
thou art short of step and I would not hurt thy feelings for that I 
am generous of heart ; yet do I deem thee unable to keep pace 
with the wild beasts : tell me then whither thou goest ? Answered 
the carpenter, Know that I am on my way to thy father's Wazir, 
the lynx ; for when he heard that the son of Adam had set foot in 
this country he feared greatly for himself and sent one of the wild 
beasts on a message for me, to make him a house wherein he 
should dwell, that it might shelter him and fend off his enemy from 
hirrij so not one of the sons of Adam should come at him. Ac- 
cordingly I took up these planks and set forth to find him. Now 
when the young lion heard these words he envied the lynx and 
said to the carpenter, By my life there is no help for it but thou 

1 Arab. " Harwalah," the pas gymnastique affected when circumambulating tb 
Ka'abah (Pilgrimage iii. 208). 

2 "This night" would be our "last night": the Arabs, I repeat, say "night and 
day," not *' day and night." 

122 A If Laylah wa Laylak* 

make me a house with these planks ere thou make one for Sir 
Lynx ! When thou hast done my work, go to him and make him 
whatso he wisheth. The carpenter replied, O lord of wild beasts, 
I cannot make thee aught till I have made the lynx what he 
desireth : then will I return to thy service and build thee a house 
as a fort to ward thee from thy foe. Exclaimed the lion-whelp, 
By Allah, I will not let thee leave this place till thou build me a 
house of planks. So saying he made for the carpenter and sprang 
upon him, thinking to jest with him, and cuffed him with his paw, 
knocking the basket off his shoulder ; and threw him down in a 
fainting fit, wliereupon the young lion laughed at him and said, 
Woe to thee, O carpenter, of a truth thou art feeble and hast no 
force ; so it is excusable in thee to fear the son of Adam. Now 
when the carpenter fell on his back, he waxed exceeding wroth ; 
but he dissembled his wrath for fear of the whelp and sat up and 
smiled in his face, saying, Well, I will make for thee the house. 
With this he took the planks he had brought and nailed together 
the house, which he made in the form of a chest after the measure 
of the young lion. And he left the door open, for he had cut in 
the box a large aperture, to which he made a stout cover and bored 
many holes therein. Then he took out some newly wrought nails 
and a hammer and said to the young lion, Enter the house through 
this opening, that I may fit it to thy measure. Thereat the whelp 
rejoiced and went up to the opening, but saw that it was strait ; 
and the carpenter said to him, Enter and crouch down on thy legs 
and arms ! So the whelp did thus and entered the chest, but his 
tail remained outside. Then he would have drawn back and come 
out ; but the carpenter said to him, Wait patiently a while till I 
see if there be room for thy tail with thee. The young lion did as 
he was bid when the carpenter twisted up his tail and, stuffing it 
into the chest, whipped the lid on to the opening and nailed it 
down ; whereat the whelp cried out and said, O carpenter, what is 
this narrow house thou hast made me ? y Let me out, sirrah ! But 
the carpenter answered, Far be it, far be it from thy thought! 
Repentance for past avails naught, and indeed of this place thou 
shalt not come out. He then laughed and resumed, Verily thou, 
art fallen into the trap and from thy duresse there is no escape, O 
vilest of wild beasts! Rejoined the whelp, O my brother, what 
manner of words are these thou addresses! to me ? The carpenter 
replied Know, O dog of the desert ! that thou hast fallen into that 
which thou fearedst : Fate hath upset thee, nor. shall caution set 

The Tale of the Birds and Beasts and the Carpenter. \ 23 

thee up. When the whelp heard these words, O my sister, he knew 
that this was indeed the very son of Adam, against whom he had 
been warned by his sire in waking state and by the mysterious 
Voice in sleeping while ; and I also was certified that this was 
indeed he without doubt ; wherefore great fear of him for myself 
seized me and I withdrew a little apart from him and waited to see 
what he would do with the young lion. Then I saw, O my sister, 
the son of Adam dig a pit in that place hard by the chest which 
held the whelp and, throwing the box into the hole, heap dry wood 
upon it and burn the young lion with fire. At this sight, O sister 
mine, my fear of the son of Adam redoubled and in my affright I 
have been these two days fleeing from him." But when the pea- 
hen heard from the duck this story, -- And Shahrazad perceived 
the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen ft teas tjje f^untfrelr anto JFottB-sebenti) Nfc$t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
peahen heard from the duck this story, she wondered with exceed- 
ing wonder and said to her, " O my sister, here thou art safe from 
the son of Adam, for we are in one of the islands of the sea 
whither there is no way for the son of Adam ; so do thou take up 
thine abode with us till Allah make easy thy case and our case." 
Quoth the duck, " I fear lest some calamity come upon me by 
night, for no runaway can rid him of fate by flight." Rejoined the 
peahen, " Abide with us, and be like unto us ; " and ceased not to 
persuade her, till she yielded, saying, " O my sister, thou knowest 
how weak is my resistance ; but verily had I not seen thee here, I 
had not remained. 1 ' Said the peahen, " That which is on our 
foreheads 1 we must indeed fulfil, and when our doomed day 
draweth near, who shall deliver us ? But not a soul departeth 
except it have accomplished its predestined livelihood and term." 
Now the while they talked thus, a cloud of dust appeared and 
approached them, at sight of which the duck shrieked aloud and 
ran down into the sea, crying out, " Beware ! beware ! though flight 
there is not from Fate and Lot ! " 2 After awhile, the dust opened 
out and discovered under it an antelope ; whereat the duck and 
the peahen were reassured and the peacock's wife said to her com- 

1 The vulgar belief is that man's fate is written upon his skull, the sutures being the 
9 Koran ii. 191. 

124 Alj Laylah wa Luylah. 

panion, " O my sister, this thou seest and wouldst have me beware 
of is an antelope, and here he is, making for us. He will do us no 
hurt, for the antelope feedeth upon the herbs of the earth and, even 
as thou art of the bird-kind, so is he of the beast-kind. Be there- 
fore of good cheer and cease care-taking ; for care-taking wasteth 
the body." Hardly had the peahen done speaking, when the ante- 
lope came up to them, thinking to shelter him under the shade of 
the tree ; and, sighting the peahen and the duck, saluted them and 
said, " I came to this island to-day and I have seen none richer in 
herbage nor pleasanter for habitation." * Then he besought them 
for company, and amity and, when they saw his friendly behaviour 
to them, they welcomed him and gladly accepted his offer. So 
they struck up a sincere friendship and sware thereto ; and they 
slept in one place and they ate and drank together ; nor did they 
cease dwelling in safety, eating and drinking their fill, till one day 
there came thither a ship which had strayed from her course in the 
sea. She cast anchor near them and the crew came forth and 
dispersed about the island. They soon caught sight of the three 
friends, antelope, peahen and duck, and made for them ; whereupon 
the peahen flew up into the tree and thence winged her way 
through air ; and the antelope fled into the desert, but the duck 
abode paralysed by fear. So they chased her till they caught her 
and she cried out and said, " Caution availed me naught against 
Fate and Lot ! "; and they bore her off to the ship. Now when the 
peahen saw what had betided the duck, she removed from the 
island, saying, " I see that misfortunes lie in ambush for all. But 
for yonder ship, parting had not befallen between me and this 
duck, because she was one of the truest of friends." Then she 
flew off and rejoined the antelope, who saluted her and gave her 
joy of her safety and asked for the duck, to which she replied, 
" The enemy hath taken her, and I loathe the sojourn of this 
island after her." Then she wept for the loss of the duck and 
began repeating : 

The day of parting cut my heart in twain : o In twain may Allah cut the parting- 
day ! 

And she spake also this couplet : 

I pray some day that we re-union gain, o So may I tell him Parting's ugly way. 

The antelope sorrowed with great sorrow, but dissuaded the 
peahen from her resolve to remove from the island. So they 
abode there together with him, eating and drinking, in peace and 

The Hermits. 125 

safety, except that they ceased not to mourn for the loss of the 
duck; and the antelope said to the peahen, " O my sister, thou 
seest how the folk who came forth of the ship were the cause 
of our severance from the duck and of her destruction ; so do thou 
beware of them and guard thyself from them and from the wile of 
the son of Adam and his guile." But the peahen replied, " I am 
assured that nought caused her death save her neglecting to say 
Subhan' Allah, glory to God ; indeed I often said to her : 
Exclaim thou, Praised be Allah, and verily I fear for thee, because 
thou neglectest to laud the Almighty ; for all things created by 
Allah glorify Him on this wise, and whoso neglecteth the formula 
of praise l him destruction waylays." When the antelope heard 
the peahen's words he exclaimed, "Allah make fair thy face!" 
and betook himself to repeating the formula of praise, and ceased 
not therefrom a single hour. And it is said that his form of adora- 
tion was as follows : " Praise be to the Requiter of every good 
and evil thing, the Lord of Majesty and of Kings the King ! " 
And a tale is also told on this wise of 


A CERTAIN hermit worshipped on a certain mountain, whither 
resorted a pair of pigeons ; and the worshipper was wont to make 
two parts of his daily bread, - And Shahrazad perceived the 
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Noto to&m tt teas t$e $^un&tE& an& 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
worshipper was wont to make two parts of his daily bread, eating 
one half himself and giving the other to the pigeon pair. He also 
prayed for them both that they might be blest with issue : so they 
increased and multiplied greatly. Now they resorted only to that 
mountain where the hermit was, and the reason of their fore- 
gathering with the holy man was their assiduity in repeating 

1 Arab."Tasbih" = saying, " Subhan' Allah." It also means a rosary (Egypt. 
Sebhah for Subhah) a string of 99 beads divided by a longer item into sets of three and 
much fingered by the would-appear pious. The professional devotee carries a string of 
wooden balls the size of pigeons* eggs. 

126 A If Laylah wa Laylah, 

" Praised be Allah ! " for it is recounted that the pigeon ! sayeth 
in praise. " Praised be the Creator of all Creatures, the Distributor 
of daily bread, the Builder of the heavens and Dispreader of the 
earths ! " And that couple ceased not to dwell together in the 
happiest of life, they and their brood till the holy man died, when 
the company of the pigeons was broken up and they dispersed 
among the towns and villages and mountains. Now it is told that 
on a certain other mountain there dwelt a shepherd, a man of piety 
and good sense and chastity ; and he had flocks of sheep which he 
tended, and he made his living by their milk and wool. The 
mountain which gave him a home abounded in trees and pasturage 
and also in wild beasts, but these had no power over his flocks ; so 
he ceased not to dwell upon that highland in full security, taking 
no thought to the things of the world, by reason of his beatitude 
and his assiduity in prayer and devotion, till Allah ordained that 
he should fall sick with exceeding sickness. Thereupon he betook 
himself to a cavern in the mountain and his sheep used to go 
out in the morning to the pasturage and take refuge at night in 
the cave. But Allah Almighty, being minded to try him and 
prove his patience and his obedience, sent him one of His angels, 
who came in to him in the semblance of a fair woman and sat down 
before him. When the shepherd saw that woman seated before 
him, his flesh shuddered at her with horripilation 2 and he said to 
her, "O thou woman, what was it invited thee to this my retreat? 
I have no peed of thee, nor is there aught betwixt me and thee 
which calleth for thy coming in to me." Quoth she, " O man, dost 
thou -not behold my beauty and loveliness and the fragrance of my 
breath ; and knowest thou not the need women have of men and 
men of women ? So who-sham forbid thee from me when 1 have 
chosen to be near thee and^clesire to enjoy thy company ? Indeed, 
I come to thee willingly and do not withhold myself from thee, and 
near us there is none whom we need fear; and I wish to abide 

1 The pigeon is usually made to say, "Wahhidu Rabba-kumu 'llazi khalaka-kum, 
yaghfiru lakum zamba-kum":^" Unify (Assert the Unity of) your Lord who created 
you ; so shall He forgive your sin ! " As might be expected this " language " is 
differently interpreted. Pigeon-superstitions are found in all religions and I have noted 
(Pilgrimage Hi. -218) how the Hindu deity of Destruction-reproduction, the third Person 
of their Triad, Shiva and his Spouse (or active Energy), are supposed to have dwelt at 
Meccah, under the titles of Kapoteshwara (Pigeon-god) and Kapoteshi (Pigeon-goddess^. 

2 I have seen this absolute horror of women amongst the Monks of the Coptic 

The Hermits. 127 

with thee as long as thou sojournest in this mountain, and be thy 
companion and thy true friend. I offer myself to thee, for thou 
needest the service of woman : and if thou have carnal connection 
with me and know me, thy sickness shall be turned from thee and 
health return to thee ; and thou wilt repent thee of the past for 
having foresworn the company of women during the days that are 
now no more. In very sooth, I give thee good advice: so incline 
to my counsel and approach me." Quoth the shepherd, " Go out 
from me, O woman deceitful and perfidious ! I will not incline to 
thee nor approach thee. I want not thy company nor wish for 
union with thee ; he who coveteth the coming life renounceth thee, 
for thou seducest mankind, those of past time and those of present 
time. Allah the Most High lieth in wait for His servants and woe 
unto him who is cursed with thy company!" Answered she, "O 
thou that errest from the truth and wanderest from the way, 
of reason, turn thy face to me and look upon my charms and 
take thy full of my nearness, as did the wise who have gone 
before thee. Indeed, they were richer than thou in experience 
and sharper of wit; withal they rejected not, as thou rejectest, 
the enjoyment of women ; nay, they took their pleasure of them 
and their company even as thou renouncest them, and it did 
them no hurt in things temporal or things spiritual. Wherefore 
do thou recede from thy resolve and thou shalt praise the issue 
of thy case." Rejoined the shepherd, " All thou sayest I deny 
and abhor, and all thou offerest I reject : for thou art cunning and 
perfidious and there is no honesty in thee nor is there honour. 
How much of foulness hidest thou under thy beauty, and how 
many a pious man hast thou seduced from his duty and made his 
end penitence and perdition ? Avaunt from me, O thou who de- 
votest thyself to corrupt others ! " Thereupon, he threw his goat's- 
hair cloak over his head that he might not see her face, and betook 
himself to calling upon the name of his Lord. And when the 
angel saw the excellence of his submission to the Divine Will, he 
went out from him and ascended to heaven. Now hard by the 
hermit's hill was a village wherein dwelt a pious man, who knew 
not ihe other's station, till one night he heard in a dream a Voice 
saying to him, " In such a place near to thee is a devout man : go 
thou to him and be at his command ! " So when morning dawned 
he set out to wend thither, and what time the heat was grievous 
upon him, he came to a tree which grew beside a spring of running 
water. So he sat down to rest in the shadow of that tree and 

128 t Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

behold, he saw beasts and birds coming to that fount to drink ; 
but when they caught sight of the devotee sitting there, they took 
fright and fled from before his face. Then said he, " There is no 
Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah ! I rest not here but 
to the hurt of these beasts and fowls." So he arose, blaming him- 
self and saying, " Verily my tarrying here this day hath wronged 
these animals, and what excuse have I towards my Creator and 
the Creator of these birds and beasts for that I was the cause of 
their flight from their drink and their daily food and their place of 
pasturage ? Alas for my shame before my Lord on the day when 
He shall avenge the. hornless sheep on the sheep with horns!" 1 
And he wept and began repeating these couplets : 

Now an, by Allah, unto man were fully known o Why he is made, in careless 

sleep he ne'er would wone : 
First Death, then cometh Wake and dreadful Day of Doom o Reproof with 

threats, sore terror, frightful malison. 
Bid we or else forbid we, all of us are like o The Cave-companions 2 when at 

length their sleep was done. 

1 After the Day of Doom, when men's actions are registered, that of mutual retali- 
ation will follow and all creatures (brutes included) will take vengeance on one another, 

2 The Comrades of the Cave, famous in the Middle Ages of Christianity (Gibbon 
chapt. xxxiii.)> is an article of faith with Moslems, being part subject of chapter xviiu, 
the Koranic Surah termed the Cave. These Ripp Van Winkle-tales begin with 
Endymion so famous amongst the Classics and Epimenides of Crete who slept fifty-seven 
years; and they extend to modern days as La Belle au Bois dormant. The Seven 
Sleepers are as many youths of Ephesus (six royal councillors and a shepherd, whose 
names are given on the authority of Ali) ; and, accompanied by their dog, they fled the 
persecutions of Dakianus (the Emperor Decius) to a cave near Tarsus in Natolia where 
they slept for centuries. The Caliph Mu'awiyah when passing the cave sent into !t 
some explorers who were all killed by a burning wind. The number of the sleepers 
remains uncertain, according to the Koran (ibid. v. 21) three, five or seven; and their 
sleep lasted either three hundred or three hundred and nine years. The dog (ibid. v. 17) 
slept at the cave-entrance with paws outstretched and, according to the general, was 
called *' Katmir " or " Kitmir ; " but Al-Rakim (v. 8) is also applied to it by some. Others 
hold this to be the name of the valley or mountain and others of a stone or leaden tablet 
on which their names were engraved by their countrymen who built a chapel on the 
spot (v. 20). Others again make the Men of Al-Rakim distinct from the Cave-men, and 
believe (with Bayzawi; that they were three youths who were shut up in a grotto by a 
rock-slip. Each prayed for help through the merits of some good deed : when the first 
had adjured Allah the mountain cracked till light appeared ; at the second petition it split 
so that they saw one another and after the third it opened. However that may be, 
Kitmir is one of the seven favoured animals ; the others being the Hudhud (hoopoe) of 
Solomon (Koran xxii. 20) ; the she-camel of Salih (chapt. Ixxxvii.) ; the cow of Moses 
which named the Second Surah ; the fish of Jonah ; the serpent of Eve, and the peacock 
of Paradise. For Koranic revelations of the Cave see the late Thomas Chenery (p. 414 
The Assemblies of Al-Hariri : Williams and Norgate, 1870) who borrows from the 
historian Tabari.^ 

Tale of the Water-Fowl and the Tortoise. 129 

Then he again wept for that he had driven the birds and beasts 
from the spring by sitting down under the tree, and he fared on 
till he came to the shepherd's dwelling and going in, saluted him. 
The shepherd returned his salutation and embraced him, weeping 
and saying, " What hath brought thee to this place where no man 
hath ever yet come to me." Quoth the other devotee, " I saw in 
my sleep one who described to me this thy stead and bade me 
repair to thee and salute thee : so I came, in obedience to the 
commandment/' The shepherd welcomed him, rejoicing in his 
company and the twain abode upon that mountain, worshipping 
Allah with the best of worship ; and they ceased not serving their 
Lord in the cavern and living upon the flesh and milk of their 
sheep, having clean put away from them riches and children and 
what not, till the Certain, the Inevitable became their lot. And 
this is the end of their story. Then said King Shahyrar, " O 
Shahrazad, thou wouldst cause me to renounce my kingdom and 
thou makest me repent of having slain so many women and 
maidens. Hast thou any bird-stories ? " " Yes," replied she, and 
began to tell the 


IT is related by truthful men, O King, that a certain bird flew high 
up firmament-wards and presently lit on a rock in the midst 
of water which was running, And as he sat there, behold, the 
current carried to him the carcass of a man, and lodged it against 
the rock, for being swollen it floated. The bird, which was a 
water-fowl, drew near and examining it, found that it was the 
dead body of a son of Adam and saw in it sign of spear and stroke 
of sword. So he said to himself, "I presume that this man who 
hath been slain was some evil-doer, and that a company banded 
themselves together against him and put him to death and were 
at peace from him and his evil-doing." And as he continued 
marvelling at this, suddenly the vultures and kites came down 
upon the carcass from all sides and gat round it ; which when the 
water-fowl saw, he feared with sore affright and said, " I cannot 
abide here any longer." So he flew away in quest of a place where 
he might wone, till that carcass should come to an end and the 
birds of prey leave it ; and he stayed not in his flight, till he found 

13 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

a river with a tree in its midst. So he alighted on the tree, troubled 
and distraught and sore grieved for departing from his birth-place, 
and said to himself, "Verily sorrows cease not to follow me : I was 
at my ease when I saw that carcass, and rejoiced therein with 
much joy, saying, " This is a gift of daily bread which Allah hath 
dealt to me : but my joy became annoy and my gladness turned 
to sadness, for the ravenous birds, which are like lions, seized 
upon it and tare it to pieces and came between me and my prize. 
So how can I hope to be secure from misfortune in this world ; or 
put any trust therein ? Indeed, the proverb saith : The world 
is the dwelling of him who hath no dwelling: he who hath no 
Wits is cozened by it and entrusteth it with his wealth and his 
child and his family and his folk ; and whoso is cozened ceaseth 
not to rely upon it, pacing proudly upon earth until he is laid 
under earth and the dust is cast over his corpse by him who of all 
men was dearest to him and nearest. But naught is better for 
generous youth than patience under its cares and miseries. I have 
left my native place and it is abhorrent to me to quit my brethren 
and friends and loved ones." Now whilst he was thus musing 
io ! a male-tortoise descended into the river and, approaching the 
water-fowl, saluted him, saying, " O my lord, what hath exiled 
thee and driven thee so far from thy place ? " Replied the water- 
fowl, " The descent of enemies thereon ; for the wise brooketh not 
the neighbourhood of his foe ; and how well saith the poet : 

Whenas on any land the oppressor doth alight, o There's nothing left for those, 
that dwell therein, but flight. 1 

Quoth the tortoise, "If the matter be as thou sayest and the case 
as thou describest, I will not leave thee nor cease to stand before 
thee, that I may do thy need and fulfil thy service ; for it is said 
that there is no sorer desolation than that of him who is an exile, 
cut off from friends and home ; and it is also said that no calamity 
equalleth that of severance from the good ; but the best solace for 
men of understanding is to seek companionship in strangerhood 
and be patient under sorrows and adversity. Wherefore I hope 
that thou wilt approve of my company, for I will be to thee a 
servant and a helper." Now when the water-fowl heard the 
tortoise's words he answered, " Verily, thou art right in what thou 

1 These lines have occurred in Night cxlvi. : I quote Mr. Payne by way of variety. 

Tale of the Water-Fowl and the Tortoise. \ 3 1 

sayest for, by my life, I have found grief and pain in separation, 
what while I have been parted from my place and sundered from 
my brethren and friends ; seeing that in severance is an admonition 
to him who will be admonished and matter of thought for him who 
will take thought. If the generous youth find not a companion to 
console him, weal is for ever cut off from him and ill is eternally 
established with him ; and there is nothing for the sage but to 
solace himself in every event with brethren and be constant in 
patience and endurance : indeed these two are praiseworthy quali- 
ties, and both uphold one under calamities and vicissitudes of the 
world and ward off startling sorrows and harrowing cares, come 
what will." Rejoined the tortoise, " Beware of sorrow, for it will 
spoil thy life and waste thy manliness." And the two gave not 
over conversing till the bird said, " Never shall I cease fearing the 
shifts of time and vicissitudes of events." When the tortoise heard 
this, he came up to him and, kissing him between the eyes, said to 
him, " Never may the company of the birds cease to be blest in 
thee and through thee, and find wisdom in thy good counsel ! How 
shalt thou be burdened with care and harm ? " And he went on 
to comfort the water-fowl and soothe his terrors till he became 
re-assured. Then he flew to the place where the carcass was and 
found on arriving there the birds of prey gone, and they had left 
nothing of the body but bones ; whereupon he returned to the 
tortoise and acquainted him with the fact that the foe had dis- 
appeared from his place, saying, " Know that of a truth I long for 
return homewards to enjoy the society of my friends ; for the sage 
cannot endure separation from his native place." So they both 
went thither and found naught to affright them ; whereupon the 
water- fowl began repeating: 

And haply whenas strait descends on lot of generous youth s Right sore, 

with Allah only lies his issue from annoy : 
He's straitened, but full oft when rings and meshes straitest clip, o He 'scapes 

his strait and joyance finds, albe I see no joy. 

So the twain abode in that island ; and while the water-fowl was 
enjoying a life of peace and gladness, suddenly Fate led thither a 
hungry falcon, which drove its talons into the bird's belly and 
killed him, nor did caution avail him when his term of life was 
ended. Now the cause of his death was that he neglected to use 
the formula of praise, and it is said that his form of adoration 
was as follows, " Praised be our Lord in that He ordereth and 

dtf Laylah wa Laylah. 

ordaineth ; and praised be our Lord in that He enricheth and im- 
poverisheth ! " Such was the water-fowl's end and the tale of the 
ravenous birds. And when it was finished quoth the Sultan, " O 
Shahrazad, verily thou overwhelmest me with admonitions and 
salutary instances. Hast thou any stories of beasts ? " " Yes.'* 
answered she ; and began to tell the 


KNOW, O King, that a fox and a wolf once cohabited in the same 
den, harbouring therein together by day and resorting thither by 
night ; but the wolf was cruel and oppressive to the fox. They 
abode thus awhile, till it so befel that the fox exhorted the wolf 
to use gentle dealing and leave off his ill deeds, saying^ " If thou 
persist in thine arrogance, belike Allah will give the son of Adam 
power over thee, for he is past master in guile and wile ; and by his 
artifice he bringeth down the birds from the firmament and he 
haleth the mighty fish forth of the flood-waters ; and he cutteth the 
mountain and transporteth it from place to place. All this is of 
his craft and wiliness : wherefore do thou betake thyself to equity 
and fair dealing and leave frowardness and tyranny ; and thou 
shalt fare all the better for it." But the wolf would not accept his 
counsel- and answered him roughly, saying, " What right hast thou 
to speak of matters of weight and importance ? " And he dealt 
the fox a cuff that laid him senseless ; but, when he revived, he 
smiled in the wolf's face and, excusing himself for his unseemly 
speech, repeated these two couplets : 

If any sin I sinned, or did I aught o In love of you, which hateful mischief 

wrought ; 
My sm I sore repent and pardon sue ; o So give the sinner gift of pardon 


1 The wolf (truly enough to nature) is the wicked man without redeeming traits ; the 
Ibx of Arab folk-lore is the cunning man who can do good on occasion. Here the latter 
fs called " Sa'alab " which may, I have noted, mean the jackal ; but further on " Father 
Of a Fortlet " refers especially to the fox. Herodotus refers to the gregarious Canis 
Aureus when he describes Egyptian wolves as being "not much bigger than foxes" 
(ii. 67). Canon Rawlinson, in his unhappy version, does not perceive that the Halicar* 
means the jackal and blunders about the hyena. 

Tale of the Wolf and the Fox. 133 

The wolf accepted his excuse and held his hand from further ill- 
treatment, saying, " Speak not of whatso concerneth thee not, lest 
thou hear what will please thee not/' Answered the fox, " To 

hear is to obey ! " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say 

Hoto tojen tt toaa tfje ^untafc anfc Jportg^ntntJ Jligftt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the 
wolf to the fox, " Speak not of whatso concerneth thee not, 
lest thou hear what will please thee not ! " Answered the fox, 
"To hear is to obey! I will abstain henceforth from what 
pleaseth thee not; for the sage saith: Have a care that thou 
speak not of that whereof thou art not asked ; leave that which 
concerneth thee not for that which concerneth thee, and by no 
means lavish good counsel on the wrongous, for they will repay 
it to thee with wrong." And reflecting on the words of the wolf 
he smiled in his face, but in his heart he meditated treachery 
against him and privily said, " There is no help but that I compass 
the destruction of this wolf." So he bore with his injurious usage, 
saying to himself, " Verily insolence and evil-speaking are causes 
of perdition and cast into confusion, and it is said : The insolent 
is shent and the ignorant doth repent ; and whoso feareth, to him 
safety is sent : moderation marketh the noble and gentle manners* 
are of gains the grandest. It behoveth me to dissemble with this 
tyrant and needs must he be cast down." Then quoth he to th 
wolf, " Verily, the Lord pardoneth his erring servant and relenteth 
towards him, if he confess his offences ; and I am a weak slave and 
have offended in presuming to counsel thee. If thou knewest the 
pain that befel me by thy buffet, thou wouldst ken that even the 
elephant could not stand against it nor endure it : but I complain 
not of this blow's hurt, because of the joy and gladness that hath 
betided me through it ; for though it was to me exceeding sore yet 
was its issue of the happiest. And with sooth saith the sage : 
The blow of the teacher is at first right hurtful, but the end of it 19 
sweeter than strained honey. Quoth the wolf, " I pardon thine 
offence and I cancel thy fault ; but beware of my force and avow 
thyself my thrall ; for thou hast learned my severity unto him who 
showeth his hostility ! " Thereupon the fox prostrated himself 
before the wolf, saying, " Allah lengthen thy life and mayst thou 
never cease to overthrow thy foes ! " And he stinted not to fear 

134 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

the wolf and to wheedle him and dissemble with him. Now it 
came to pass that one day, the fox went to a vineyard and saw a 
breach in its walls; but he mistrusted it and said to himself, 
" Verily, for this breach there must be some cause and the old saw 
saith : Whoso seeth a cleft in the earth and shunneth it not and 
is not wary in approaching it, the same is self-deluded and ex- 
poseth himself to danger and destruction. Indeed, it is well known 
that some folk make the figure of a fox in their vineyards ; nay, 
they even set before the semblance grapes in plates, that foxes 
may see it and come to it and fall into perdition. In very sooth I 
regard this breach as a snare and the proverb saith : Caution is 
one half of cleverness. Now prudence requireth that I examine 
this breach and see if there be aught therein which may lead to 
perdition ; and coveting shall not make me cast myself into 
destruction." So he went up to the hole and walked round it 
right warily, and lo ! it was a deep pit, which the owner of the 
vineyard had dug to trap therein the wild beasts which laid waste 
his vines. Then he said to himself, " Thou hast gained, for that 
thou hast refrained ! " ; and he looked and saw that the hole was 
lightly covered with dust and matting. So he drew back from it 
saying, " Praised be Allah that I was wary of it ! I hope that my 
enemy, the wolf, who maketh my life miserable, will fall into it ; 
so will the vineyard be left to me and I shall enjoy it alone and 
dwell therein at peace." Saying thus, he shook his head and 
laughed a loud laugh and began versifying : 

Would Heaven I saw at this hour o The Wolf fallen down in this 

He who anguisht my heart for so long, o And garred me drain eisel and 

Heaven grant after this I may live o Free of Wolf for long fortunate 

When I've rid grapes and vineyard of him, o And in bunch -spoiling happily 


His verse being finished he returned in haste to the wolf and said 
to him, " Allah hath made plain for thee the way into the vineyard 
without toil and moil. This is of thine auspicious fortune; so 
good luck to thee and mayest thou enjoy the plentiful plunder and 
the profuse provaunt which Allah hath opened up to thee without 
trouble ! " Asked the wolf, " What proof hast thou of what thou 
assertest ? " : and the fox answered, " I went up to the vineyard 

Tale of the Wolf and the Fox. 135 

and found that the owner was dead, having been torn to pieces by 
wolves : so I entered the orchard and saw the fruit shining upon 
the trees." The wolf doubted not the fox's report and his gluttony 
gat hold of him ; so he arose and repaired to the cleft, for that 
greed blinded him ; whilst the fox falling behind him lay as one 
dead, quoting to the case the following couplet : 

For Layla's J favour dost thou greed ? But, bear in mind o Greed is a yoke of 
harmful weight on neck of man. 

And when the wolf had reached the breach the fox said, " Enter 
the vineyard : thou art spared the trouble of climbing a ladder, for 
the garden-wall is broken down, and with Allah it resteth to fulfil 
the benefit." So the wolf went on walking and thought to enter 
the vineyard ; but when he came to the middle of the pit-covering 
he fell through ; whereupon the fox shook for joy and gladness ; 
his care and concern left him and he sang out for delight and 
improvised these couplets : 

Fortune had mercy on the soul of me, o And for my torments now shows 

Granting whatever gift my heart desired, o And far removing what I feared to 

see : 
I will, good sooth, excuse her all her sins o She sinned in days gone by and 

much sinned she : 
Yea, her injustice she hath shown in this, o She whitened locks that were so 

black of blee: 
But now for this same wolf escape there's none, o Of death and doom he. hath 

full certainty. 
Then all the vineyard conies beneath my rule, o I'll brook no partner who's so 

fond a fool. 

Then the fox looked into the cleft and, seeing the wolf weeping in 
repentance and sorrow for himself, wept with him ; whereupon the 
wolf raised his head to him and asked, " Is it of pity for me thou 
weepest, O Father of the Fortlet 2 ? " Answered the fox, " No, by 
Him who cast thee into this pit ! I weep for the length of thy 
past life and for regret that thou didst not fall into the pit before 

1 The older "Leila" or "Leyla*': it is a common name and is here applied to 
Voman in general. The root is evidently "layl"=nox, with, probably, the idea, 
**She walks in beauty like the night." 

* Arab. Abu 'l-Hosayn ; his hole being his fort (Unexplored Syria, ii. 18). 

136 Alf Laylak wa Laylak*. 

this day ; for hadst thou done so before I foregathered with thee, 
I had rested and enjoyed repose : but thou wast spared till the 
fulfilment of thine allotted term and thy destined time. 1 * Then 
the wolf said to him as one jesting, " O evil-doer, go to my mother 
and tell her what hath befallen me ; haply she may devise some 
device for my release." Replied the fox, " Of a truth thou hast 
been brought to destruction by the excess of thy greed and thine 
exceeding gluttony, since thou art fallen into a pit whence thou 
wilt never escape. Knowest thou not the common proverb, O 
thou witless wolf: Whoso taketh no thought as to how things 
end, him shall Fate never befriend nor shall he safe from perils 
wend." " O Reynard," quoth the wolf, " thou wast wont to show 
me fondness and covet my friendliness and fear the greatness of 
my strength. Hate me not rancorously because of that I did with 
thee; for he who hath power and forgiveth, his reward Allah 
giveth ; even as saith the poet : 

Sow kindness-seed in the unfittest stead ; o Twill not be wasted whereso thou 

shalt sow : 
For kindness albe buried long, yet none o Shall reap the crop save sower who 

garred it grow." 

Rejoined the fox, " O witlessest of beasts of prey and stupidest of 
the wild brutes which the wolds overstray ! Hast thou forgotten 
thine arrogance and insolence and tyranny, and thy disregarding 
the due of goodfellowship and thy refusing to be advised by what 
the poet saith ? 

Wrong not thy neighbour e'en if thou have power ; The wronger alway 

vengeance-harvest reaps : 
Thine eyes shall sleep, while bides the wronged on wake o A-cursing thee ; and 

Allah's eye ne'er sleeps." 

" O Abu '1-Hosayn," replied the wolf, " twit me not with my past 
sins ; for forgiveness is expected of the generous and doing kind 
deeds is the truest of treasures. How well saith the poet : 

Haste to do kindness while thou hast much power, * For at all seasons thou 
hast not such power." 

And he ceased not to humble himself before the fox and say, 
" Haply, thou canst do somewhat to deliver me from destruction." 
Replied the fox, " O thou wolf, thou witless, deluded, deceitful 
trickster ! hope not for deliverance, for this is but the just reward 

Tale of the Wolf and the Fox. 137 

of thy foul dealing and its due retaliation." Then he laughed with 
chops wide open and repeated these two couplets : 

No longer beguile me, o Thou'lt fail of thy will ! 

What can't be thou seekest ; o Thou hast sown so reap 111 I 

Quoth the wolf, " O gentlest of ravenous beasts, I fain hold thee 
too faithful to leave me in this pit." Then he wept and com- 
plained and, with tears streaming from his eyes, recited these two 
couplets : 

O thou whose favours have been out of compt, o Whose gifts are more than 

may be numbered ! 
Never mischance befel me yet from time o But that I found thy hand 

right fain to aid. 

"0 thou ninny foe," quoth the fox, "how art thou reduced to 
humiliation and prostration and abjection and submission, after 
insolence and pride and tyranny and arrogance ! Verily, I kept 
company with thee only for fear of thy fury and I cajoled thee 
without one hope of fair treatment from thee : but now trembling 
is come upon thee and vengeance hath overtaken thee." And he 
repeated these two couplets : 

O thou who seekest innocence to 'guile, o Thou'rt caught in trap of 

thine intentions vile : 
Now drain the draught of shamefullest mischance, e And be with other wolves 

cut off, thou scroyle ! 

Replied the wolf, " O thou clement one, speak not with the tongue 
of enemies nor look with their eyes ; but fulfil the covenant of 
fellowship with me, ere the time of applying remedy cease to 
be. Rise and make ready to get me a rope and tie one end of it 
to a tree ; then let the other down to me, that I may lay hold of it, 
so haply I shall from this my strait win free, and I will give thee 
all my hand possesseth of wealth and fee." Quoth the fox, " Thou 
persistest in conversation concerning what will not procure thy 
liberation. Hope not for this, for thou shalt never, never get of me 
wherewithal to set thee at liberty ; but call to mind thy past mis- 
deeds and the craft and perfidy thou didst imagine against me and 
bethink thee how near thou art to being stoned to death. For 
know that thy soul is about the world to quit and cease in it and 
depart from it ; so shalt thou to destruction hie and ill is true 
abiding-place thou shalt aby ! " J Rejoined the wolf, " O Father of 

1 A Koranic phrase often occurring. 

I $8 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

the Fortlet, hasten to return to amity and persist not in this ran- 
corous enmity. Know that whoso from ruin saveth a soul, is as 
if he had quickened it and made it whole; and whoso saveth a soul 
alive, is as if he had saved all mankind. 1 Follow not frowardness, 
for the wise forbid it : and it were most manifest frowardness to 
leave me in this pit draining the agony of death and dight to look 
upon mine own doom, whenas it lieth in thy power to deliver me 
from my stowre. So do thy best to release me and deal with me 
benevolently." Answered the fox, "O thou base and barbarous 
wretch, I compare thee, because of the fairness of thy professions 
and expressions, and the foulness of thy intentions and thy inven- 
tions to the Falcon and the Partridge." Asked the wolf, " How 
so ?"; and the fox began to tell the 


ONCE upon a time I entered a vineyard to eat of its grapes ; and, 
whilst so doing behold, I saw a falcon stoop upon a partridge and 
seize him ; but the partridge escaped from the seizer and, entering 
his nest, hid himself there. The falcon followed apace and called 
out to him, saying, " O imbecile, I saw thee an-hungered in the 
wold and took pity on thee ; so I picked up for thee some grain 
and took hold of thee that thou mightest eat ; but thou fleddest 
from me ; and I wot not the cause of thy flight, except it were 
to put upon me a slight. Come out, then, and take the grain I 
have brought thee to eat and much good may it do thee, and with 

1 Koran v. 35. 

2 Arab. "Bazf," Pers. " Baz" (here Richardson is wrong s. v.) ; a term to a certain 
extent generic, but specially used for the noble Peregrine (F. Peregrinator} whose tiercel 
is the Shahfn (or "Royal Bird"'). It is sometimes applied to the goshawk (Astur 
palumbarius} whose proper title, however, is Shah-baz (King-hawk). The Peregrine 
extends from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin and the best come from the colder parts : 
in Iceland I found that the splendid white bird was sometimes trapped for sending ta 
India. In Egypt " Bazi " is applied to the kite or buzzard and " Hidyah" (a kite) to 
the falcon (Burckhardt's Prov. 159, 581 and 602). Burckhardt translates "Hidayah," 
the Egyptian corruption, by "an ash-grey falcon of the. smaller species common through- 
out Egypt and Syria." 

3 Arafc. " Hijl," the bird is not much prized in India because it feeds on the roads. 
For the Shinnar (caccabis) or magnificent partridge of Midian as large as a pheasant, see 
Midian Revisited " ii. 18. 

Tale of the Falcon and the Partridge* 1 39 

thy health agree." When the partridge heard these words, he 
believed and came out to him, whereupon the falcon struck his 
talons into him and seized him. Cried the partridge, " Is this that 
which thou toldest me thou hadst brought me from the wold, and 
whereof thou badest me eat, saying : Much good may it do thee, 
and with thy health agree ? Thou hast lied to me, and may Allah 
cause what thou eatest of my flesh to be a killing poison in thy 
maw ! " So when the falcon had eaten the partridge, his feathers 
fell off and his strength failed and he died on the spot. Know, 
then, O wolf! (pursued the fox), "that he who diggeth for his 
brother a pit himself soon falleth into it, and thou first deceivedst 
me in mode unfit." Quoth the wolf, " Spare me this discourse nor 
saws and tales enforce, and remind me not of my former ill course, 
for sufficeth me the sorry plight I endure perforce, seeing that I 
am fallen into a place, in which even my foe would pity me, much 
more a true friend. Rather find some trick to deliver me and be 
thou thereby my saviour. If this cause thee trouble, remember 
that a true friend will undertake the sorest travail for his true 
friend's sake and will risk his life to deliver him from evil ; and 
indeed it hath been said : A leal friend is better than a real 
brother. So if thou stir thyself to save me and I be saved, I 
will forsure gather thee such store as shall be a provision for thee 
against want however sore ; and truly I will teach thee rare tricks, 
whereby to open whatso bounteous vineyards thou please and strip 
the fruit-laden trees." Rejoined the fox, laughing, " How excellent 
is what the learned say of him who aboundeth in ignorance like 
unto thee!" Asked the wolf, "What do the wise men say?" 
And the fox answered, "They have observed that the gross of 
body are gross of mind, far from intelligence and nigh unto 
ignorance. As for thy saying, O thou stupid, cunning idiot ! that 
a true friend should undertake sore travail for his true friend's 
sake, it is sooth as thou sayest, but tell me, of thine ignorance 
and poverty of intelligence, how can I be a true friend to 
thee, considering thy treachery. Dost thou count me thy true 
friend ? Nay, I am thy foe who joyeth in thy woe ; and couldst 
thou trow it, this word were sorer to thee than slaughter by shot 
of shaft. As for thy promise to provide me a store against 
want however sore and teach me tricks, to plunder whatso 
bounteous vineyards I please, and spoil fruit-laden trees, how 
cometh it, O guileful traitor, that thou knowest not a wile to 
save thyself from destruction ? How far art thou from profiting 

*4 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

thyself and how far am I from accepting thy counsel ! If thou 
have any tricks, make shift for thyself to save thee from the 
risk, wherefrom I pray Allah to make thine escape far distant ! 
So look, O fool, if there be any trick with thee ; and therewith 
save thyself from death ere thou lavish instruction upon thy 
neighbours. But thou art like a certain man attacked by a 
disease, who went to another diseased with the same disease, 
and said to him : Shall I heal thee of thy disease ? Replied 
the sick man, Why dost thou not begin by healing thyself? So 
he left him and went his way. And thou, O ignorant wolf, art 
like this ; so stay where thou art and under what hath befallen 
thee be of good heart ! " When the wolf heard what the fox said, 
he knew that from him he had no hope of favour ; so he wept for 
himself, saying, " Verily, I have been heedless of my weal ; but if 
Allah deliver me from this ill I will assuredly repent of my 
arrogance towards those who are weaker than I, and will wear 
woollens 1 and go upon the mountains, celebrating the praises of 
Almighty Allah and fearing His punishment. And I will with- 
draw from the company of other wild beasts and forsure will I feed 
the poor fighters for the Faith." Then he wept and wailed, till 
the heart of the fox softened when he heard his humble words and 
his professions of penitence for his past insolence and arrogance. 
So he took pity upon him and sprang up joyfully and, going to the 
brink of the breach, squatted down on his hind quarters and let his 
tail hang in the hole ; whereupon the wolf arose and putting out 
his paw, pulled the fox's tail, so that he fell down in the pit with 
him. Then said the wolf, " O fox of little mercy, why didst thou 
exult in my misery, thou that wast my companion and under 
my dominion ? Now thou art fallen into the pit with me and 
retribution hath soon overtaken thee. Verily, the sages have 
said : If one of you reproach his brother with sucking the dugs 

1 Arab. " Suf ; " hence " Sufi," = (etymologically) one who wears woollen garments 
a devotee, a Santon ; from crowds r= wise ; from era^wjs = pure, or from Sate = he was 
pure. This is not the place to enter upon such a subject as ' Tasawwuf," or Sufyism ; 
that singular reaction from arid Moslem realism and materialism, that immense develop- 
ment of gnostic and Neo-platonic transcendentalism which is found only germinating in 
the Jewish and Christian creeds. The poetry of Omar-i- Khayyam, now familar to English 
readers, is a fair specimen ; and the student will consult the last chapter of the Dabistan 
* On the religion of the Sufiahs.'' The first Moslem Sufi was Abu Hashim of Kufah, ob. 
A. H. 150 = 767, and the first Convent of Sufis called " Takiyah " (Pilgrimage i. 124) 
was founded in Egypt by Saladin the Great. 

Tale of the Wolf and the Fox. 141 

of a bitch, he also shall suck her. And how well quoth the 

When Fortune weighs heavy on some of us, o And makes camel kneel by 

some other one, 1 
Say to those who rejoice in our ills : Awake ! o The rejoicer shall suffer as 

we have done ! 

And death in company is the best of things ; 2 wherefore I will 
certainly and assuredly hasten to slay thee ere thou see me slain/' 
Said the fox to himself, " Ah ! Ah ! I am fallen into the snare with 
this tyrant, and my case calleth for the use of craft and cunning ; 
for indeed it is said that a woman fashioneth her jewellery for the 
day of display, and quoth the proverb : I have not kept thee, O 
my tear, save for the time when distress draweth near. And unless 
I make haste to circumvent this prepotent beast I am lost without 
recourse ; and how well saith the poet : 

Make thy game by guile, for thou 'rt born in a Time o Whose sons are lions 

in forest lain ; 
And turn on the leat 3 of thy knavery * That the mill of subsistence may 

grind thy grain ; 
And pluck the fruits or, if out of reach, * Why, cram thy maw with the grass 

on plain." 

Then said the fox to the wolf, " Hasten not to slay me, for that is 
not the way to pay me and thou wouldst repent it, O thou valiant 
wild beast, lord of force and exceeding prowess ! An thou accord 
delay and consider what I shall say, thou wilt ken what purpose I 
proposed ; but if thou hasten to kill me it will profit thee naught 
and we shall both die in this very place." Answered the wolf 
" O thou wily trickster, what garreth thee hope to work my deliver- 
ance and thine own, that thou prayest me to grant thee delay ? 
Speak and propound to me thy purpose." Replied the fox, " As 
for the purpose I proposed, it was one which deserveth that thou 
guerdon me handsomely for it ; for when I heard thy promises and 

1 i.e. when she encamps with a favourite for the night. 

8 The Persian proverb is " Marg-i-amboh jashni darad "death in a crowd is asgoocl 
as a feast. 

3 Arab. " Kandt," the subterranean water-course called in Persia " Kya"riz." Lane 
(ii. 66) translates it ' brandish around the spear (Kan&t is also a cane-lance) of artifice," 
thus making rank nonsense of the line. Al- Hariri uses the term in the Ass, of the Banu 
Haram where " Kandt " may be a pipe or bamboo laid underground. 

142 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

thy confessions of thy past misdeeds and regrets for not having 
earlier repented and done good ; and when I heard thee vowing, 
shouldst thou escape from this strait, to leave harming thy fellows 
and others ; forswear the eating of grapes and of all manner fruits ; 
devote thyself to humility ; cut thy claws and break thy dog-teeth ; 
don woollens and offer thyself as an offering to Almighty Allah,, 
then indeed I had pity upon thee, for true words are the best words* 
And although before I had been anxious for thy destruction, whenas 
I heard thy repenting and thy vows of amending should Allah 
vouchsafe to save thee, I felt bound to free thee from this thy 
present plight. So I let down my tail, that thou mightest grasp it 
and be saved. Yet wouldest thou not quit thy wonted violence 
and habit of brutality ; nor soughtest thou to save thyself by fair, 
means, but thou gavest me a tug which I thought would sever 
body from soul, so that thou and I are fallen into the same place, 
of distress and death. And now there is but one thing can save 
us and, if thou accept it of me, we shall both escape ; and after 
it behoveth thee to fulfil the vows thou hast made and I will be thy, 
veritable friend." Asked the wolf, " What is it thou proposest for 
mine acceptance ? n Answered the fox, " It is that thou stand up at 
full height till I come nigh on a level with the surface of the earth. 
Then will I give a spring and reach the ground ; and, when out 
of the pit, I will bring thee what thou mayst lay hold of, and thus 
shalt thou make thine escape/* Rejoined the wolf, " I have no 
faith in thy word, for sages have said : Whoso practiseth trust in; 
the place of hate, erreth ; and : Whoso trusteth in the untrust- 
worthy is a dupe ; he who re-trieth him who hath been tried shall 
reap repentance and his days shall go waste ; and he who cannot 
distinguish between case and case, giving each its due, and as- 
signeth all the weight to one side, his luck shall be little and his 
miseries shall be many. How well saith the poet : 

Let thy thought be ill and none else but ill; o For suspicion is best of the world- 
ling's skill : 

Naught casteth a man into parlous place o But good opinion and (worse) 
good-will ! 

And the saying of another : 

Be sure all are villains and so bide safe j o Who lives wide awake on 

few Ills shall light : 
Meet thy foe with smiles and a smooth fair brow, o And in heart raise a host 

for the battle dight I 

Tale of the Wolf and the Fox. 143 

And that of yet another i 1 

He thou trusted most is thy worst unfriend ; o 'Ware all and take heed with 

whom thou wend : 
Fair opinion of Fortune is feeble sign ; o So believe her ill and her Ills 

perpend ! " 

Quoth the fox, "Verily mistrust and ill opinion of others are not to 
be commended in every case ; nay trust and confidence are the 
characteristics of a noble nature and the issue thereof is freedom 
from stress of fear. Now it behoveth thee, O thou wolf, to devise 
some device for thy deliverance from this thou art in, and our escape 
will be better to us both than our death : so quit thy distrust and 
rancour ; for if thou trust in me one of two things will happen ; 
either I shall bring thee something whereof to lay hold and escape 
from this case, or I shall abandon thee to thy doom. But this thing 
may not be, for I am not safe from falling into some such strait as 
this thou art in, which, indeed, would be fitting punishment of 
perfidy. Of a truth the adage saith: Faith is fair and faithless- 
ness is foul. 2 So it behoveth thee to trust in me, for I am not 
ignorant of the haps and mishaps of the world ; and delay not to 
contrive some device for our deliverance, as the case is too close to 
allow further talk." Replied the wolf, " For all my want of confi- 
dence in thy fidelity, verily I knew what was in thy mind and that 
thou wast moved to deliver me whenas thou heardest my repent- 
ance, and I said to myself : If what he asserteth be true, he will 
have repaired the ill he did ; and if false, it resteth with the Lord 
to requite him. So, look'ee, I have accepted thy proposal and, if 
thou betray me, may thy traitorous deed be the cause of thy des- 
truction ! " Then the wolf stood bolt upright in the pit and, taking 
the fox upon his shoulders, raised him to the level of the ground, 

1 From Al-Tughrai, the author of the Lamiyat al-Ajam, the " Lay of the Outlander ;" 
a Kasidah (Ode) rhyming in Lam (the letter " 1 " being the rawi or binder). The student 
will find a new translation of it by Mr. J. W. Redhouse and Dr. Carlyle's old version 
(No. liii.) in Mr. Clouston's "Arabian Poetry." Muyid al-Din al-Hasan Abu Ismail (nat. 
Ispahan ob. Baghdad A.H. 182) derived his surname from the Tughra, cypher or flourish 
(over the *' Bismillah " in royal and official papers) containing the name of the prince* 
There is an older "Lamiyat al-Arab" a pre-Islamitic L-poem by the " brigand -poet" 
Shanfara, of whom Mr. W. G. Palgrave has given a most appreciative account in his 
Essays on Eastern Questions," noting the indomitable self-reliance and the absolute 
individualism of a mind defying its age and all around it. Al- Hariri quotes from 

2 The wotds of the unfortunate Azizah, vol. ii., p. 323. 

144 >Alf Laylak wa Layiak., 

whereupon Reynard gave a spring from his back and lighted on 
the surface of the earth. When he found himself safely out of the 
cleft he fell down senseless and the wolf said to him, " O my friend ! 
neglect not my case and delay not to deliver me." The fox laughed 
with a loud haw-haw and replied, " O dupe, naught threw me into 
thy hands save my laughing at thee and making mock of thee ; for 
in good sooth when I heard thee profess repentance, mirth and 
gladness seized me and I frisked about and made merry and danced, 
so that my tail hung low into the pit and thou caughtest hold of it 
and draggedst me down with thee. And the end was that Allah 
Almighty delivered me from thy power. Then why should I be 
other than a helper in thy destruction, seeing that thou art of 
Satan's host ? I dreamt yesterday that I danced at thy wedding 
and I told my dream to an interpreter who said to me : Verily 
thou shalt fall into imminent deadly danger and thou shalt escape 
therefrom. So now I know that my falling into thy hand and my 
escape are the fulfilment of my dream, and thou, O imbecile, 
knowest me for thy foe ; so how couldest thou, of thine ignorance 
and unintelligence, nurse desire of deliverance at my hands, after 
all thou hast heard of harsh words from me ; and wherefore should 
I attempt thy salvation whenas the sages have said : In the 
death of the wicked is rest for mankind and a purge for the earth ? 
But, were it not that I fear to bear more affliction by keeping faith 
with thee than the sufferings which follow perfidy, I had done mine 
endeavour to save thee." When the wolf heard this, he bit his 
forehand for repentance. And Shahrazad perceived the clawn of 
day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Noto tofjm it toaa tfie ^untrrrtr anti Jptftt'etf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
wolf heard the fox's words he bit his forehand for repentance. 
Then he gave the fox fair words, but this availed naught and he 
was at his wits' end for what to do ; so he said to him in soft, low 
accents, " Verily, you tribe of foxes are the most pleasant people in 
point of tongue and the subtlest in jest, and this is but a joke of 
thine ; but all times are not good for funning and jesting." The 
fox replied, "O ignoramus, in good sooth jesting hath a limit 
which the jester must not overpass ; and deem not that Allah will 

Tale of the Wolf and the Fox. 145 

again give thee possession of me after having once delivered me 
from thy hand." Quoth the wolf, " It behoveth thee to compass 
my release, by reason of our brotherhood and good fellowship ; 
and, if thou release me, I will assuredly make fair thy recompense." 
Quoth the fox, " Wise men say : Take not to brother the wicked 
fool, for he will disgrace thee in lieu of gracing thee ; nor take to 
brother the liar for, if thou do good, he will conceal it ; and if thou 
do ill he will reveal it. And again, the sages have said : There is 
help for everything but death : all may be warded off, except Fate. 
As for the reward thou declarest to be my due from thee > I com- 
pare thee herein with the serpent which fled from the charmer. 1 A 
man saw her affrighted and said to her : What aileth thee, O thou 
serpent ? Replied she, I am fleeing from the snake-charmer, for he 
seeketh to trap me and, if thou wilt save me and hide me with 
thee, I will make fair thy reward and do thee all manner of kind- 
ness. So he took her, incited thereto by lust for the recompense 
and eager to find favour with Heaven, and set her in his breast- 
pocket. Now when the charmer had passed and had wended his 
way and the serpent had no longer any cause to fear, he said to 
her : Where is the reward thou didst promise me ? Behold, I 
have saved thee from that thou fearedest and soughtest to fly. 
Replied she : Tell me in what limb or in what place shall I strike 
thee with my fangs, for thou knowest we exceed not that recom- 
pense. So saying, she gave him a bite whereof he died. And I 
liken thee, O dullard, to the serpent in her dealings with that man. 
Hast thou not heard what the poet saith ? 

Trust not to man when thou hast raised his spleen o And wrath, nor that 'twijl 

cool do thou misween : 
Smooth feels the viper to the touch and glides o With grace, yet hides she 

deadliest venene." 

Quoth the wolf, " O thou glib of gab and fair of face, ignore not 
my case and men's fear of me ; and well thou weetest how I assault 
the strongly walled place and uproot the vines from base. Where- 
fore, do as I bid thee, and stand before me even as the thrall 
standeth before his lord." Quoth the fox, " O stupid dullard who 

1 Arab. " Hiwf " = a juggler who plays tricks with snakes : he is mostly a Gypsy. 
The "recompense" the man expects is the golden treasure which the ensorcelled 
snake is supposed to guard. This idea is as old as the Dragon in the Garden of the 
Hesperides and older. 


146 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

seekest a vain thing, I marvel at thy folly and thy front of brass in 
that thou biddest me serve thee and stand up before thee as I were 
a slave bought with thy silver ; but soon shalt thou see what is in 
store for thee, in the way of cracking thy sconce with stones and 
knocking out thy traitorous dog-teeth." So saying the fox clomb 
a hill overlooking the vineyard and standing there, shouted out to 
the vintagers ; nor did he give over shouting till he woke them and 
they, seeing him, all came up to him in haste. He stood his 
ground till they drew near him and close to the pit wherein was 
the wolf ; and then he turned and fled. So the folk looked into the 
cleft and, spying the wolf, set to pelting him with heavy stones, 
and they stinted not smiting him with stones and sticks, and stab- 
bing him with spears, till they killed him and went away. There- 
upon the fox returned to that cleft and, standing over the spot 
where his foe had been slain, saw the wolf dead : so he wagged his 
head for very joyance and began to recite these couplets : 

Fate the Wolfs soul snatched up from wordly stead ; o Far be from bliss his 

soul that perished ! 
Abu Sirhdn ! l how sore thou sought'st my death ; o Thou, burnt this day 

in fire of sorrow dread : 
Thou'rt fallen into pit, where all who fall o Are blown by Death* 

blast down among the dead. 

Thenceforward the aforesaid fox abode alone in the vineyard unto 
the hour of his death secure and fearing no hurt. And such are 
the adventures of the wolf and the fox. But men also tell a 

1 The "Father of going out (to prey) by morning"; for dawn is called Zanab Sirhdn, 
the Persian Dum-i-gurg = wolfs tail, i.e. the first brush of light ; the Zodiacal Light 
shown in morning. Sirhan is a nickname of the wolf Gaunt Grim or Gaffer Grim, the 
German Isengrin or Eisengrinus (icy grim or iron grim) whose wife is Hersent, as 
Richent or Hermeline is Mrs. Fox. In French we have lopez, luppe, leu, e.g. 

Venant a la queue, leu, leu, 

i.e. going in Indian file. Hence the names D'Urfe and Saint-Loup. In Scandinavian, 
the elder sister of German, Ulf and in German (where the Jews were forced to adopt the 
name) Wolff whence " Guelph." He is also known to the Arabs as the " sire of a she- 
lamb," the figure metonymy called "Kunyat bi '1-Zidd " (lucus a non lucendo), a patro- 
nymic or by-name given for opposition and another specimen of ' inverted speech." 

Tale of the Mouse and the Ichneumon. 147 


A MOUSE and an ichneumon once dwelt in the house of a peasant 
who was very poor ; and when one of his friends sickened, the 
doctor prescribed him husked sesame. So the hind sought of one 
of his comrades sesame to be husked by way of healing the sick 
man ; and, when a measure thereof was given to him, he carried it 
home to his wife and bade her dress it. So she steeped it and 
husked it and spread it out to dry. Now when the ichneumon 
saw the grain, she went up to it and fell to carrying it away to her 
hole, and she toiled all day, till she had borne off the most of it. 
Presently, in came the peasant's wife and, seeing much of the 
grain gone, stood awhile wondering ; after which she sat down to 
watch and find out who might be the intruder and make him 
account for her loss. After a while, out crept the ichneumon to 
carry off the grain as was her wont, but spying the woman seated 
there, knew that she was on the watch for her and said in her 
mind, " Verily, this affair is like to end blameably ; and sore I fear 
me this woman is on the look-out for me, and Fortune is no friend 
to who attend not to issue and end : so there is no help for it but 
that I do a fair deed, whereby I may manifest my innocence and 
wash out all the ill-doings I have done." So saying, she began to 

1 Arab. Bint 'Ariis = daughter of the bridegroom, the Hindustani Mungus (vulg. 
Mongoose) ; a well-known weasel-like rodent often kept tame in the house to clear it of 
vermin. It is supposed to know an antidote against snake-poison, as the weasel eats 
rue before battle (Pliny x. 84; xx. 13) In Modern Egypt this viverra is called " Kitt 
(or Katt) Far'aun " = Pharaoh's cat : so the Percnopter becomes Pharaoh's hen and the 
unfortunate (?) King has named a host of things, alive and dead. It was worshipped 
and mummified in parts of Ancient Egypt e.g. Heracleopolis, on account of its antipathy 
to serpents and because it was supposed to destroy the crocodile, a feat which ^Elian and 
others have overloaded with fable. It has also a distinct antipathy to cats. The 
ichneumon as a pet becomes too tame and will not leave its master : when enraged it 
emits an offensive stench. I brought home for the Zoological Gardens a Central Africao 
pecimen prettily barred. Burckhardt (Prov. 455) quotes a line : 

Rakas 'Ibn Irsin wa zamzama '1-Nimsu, 
(Danceth Ibn Irs whileas Nims doth sing) 

and explains Nims by ichneumon and Ibn Irs as a " species of small weasel, or ferret, very 
common in Egypt : it comes into the houses, feeds upon meat, is of gentle disposition. 
although not domesticated and full of gambols and frolic." 

148 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

take the sesame out of her hole and carry it forth and lay it back 
upon the rest. The woman stood by and, seeing the ichneumon 
do thus, said to herself, " Verily this is not the cause of our loss, 
for she bringeth it back from the hole of him who stole it and 
returneth it to its place ; and of a truth she hath done us a kind- 
ness in restoring us the sesame, and the reward of those who do 
us good is that we do them the like good. It is clear that it is not 
she who stole the grain ; but I will not cease my watching till he 
fall into my hands and I find out who is the thief." The ichneu- 
mon guessed what was in her mind, so she went to the mouse and 
said to her, " O my sister, there is no good in one who observeth 
not the claims of neighbourship and who showeth no constancy in 
friendship." The mouse replied, " Even so, O my friend, and I 
delight in thee and in thy neighbourhood ; but what be the motive 
of this speech ? " Quoth the ichneumon, " The house-master hath 
brought home sesame and hath eaten his fill of it, he and his 
family, and hath left much ; every living being hath eaten of it 
and, if thou take of it in thy turn, thou art worthier thereof than 
any other." This pleased the mouse and she squeaked for joy and 
danced and frisked her ears and tail, and greed for the grain 
deluded her; so she rose at once and issuing forth of her home, 
saw the sesame husked and dry, shining with whiteness, and the 
woman sitting at watch and ward. The mouse, taking no thought 
to the issue of the affair (for the woman had armed herself with a 
cudgel), and unable to contain herself, ran up to the sesame and 
began turning it over and eating of it; whereupon the woman 
smote her with that club and cleft her head : so the cause of her 
destruction were her greed and heedlessness of consequences. 
Then said the Sultan, " O Shahrazad, by Allah ! this be a goodly 
parable ! Say me, hast thou any story bearing upon the beauty 
of true friendship and the observance of its duty in time of distress 
and rescuing from destruction ? " Answered she : Yes, it hath 
reached me that they tell a tale of 

The Cat and the Crow. 1.49 


ONCE upon a time, a crow and a cat lived in brotherhood ; and 
one day as they were together under a tree, behold, they spied a 
leopard making towards them, and they were not aware of his 
approach till he was close upon them. The crow at once flew up 
to the tree-top ; but the cat abode confounded and said to the 
crow, " O my friend, hast thou no device to save me, even as all 
my hope is in thee?" Replied the crow, "Of very truth it 
behoveth brethren, in case of need, to cast about for a device 
when peril overtaketh them, and how well saith the poet ! 

A friend in need is he who, ever true, o For thy well-doing would himself 

undo : 
One who when Fortune gars us parting rue o Vktimeth self reunion to 

Now hard by that tree were shepherds with their dogs ; so the 
crow flew towards them and smote the face of the earth with his 
wings, cawing and crying out. Furthermore he went up to one of 
the dogs and flapped his wings in his face and flew up a little way, 
whilst the dog ran after him thinking to catch him. Presently, 4 
one of the shepherds raised his head and saw the bird flying near 
the ground and lighting alternately ; so he followed him, and the 
crow ceased not flying just high enough to save himself and to 

1 Arab. "Sinnaur" (also meaning a prince). The common name is Kitt which is 
pronounced Katt or Gatt ; and which Ibn Dorayd pronounces a foreign word (Syriac ?). 
Hence, despite Freitag, Catus (which Isidore derives from catare, to look for) Karra or 
Tara, gatto, chat, cat, an animal unknown to the Classics of Europe who used the 
mustela, or putorius vulgaris and different species of viverrae. The Egyptians, who kept 
the cat to destroy vermin, especially snakes, called it Mau, Mai, Miao (onomatopoetic) : 
this descendant of the Felis maniculata originated in Nubia ; and we know from the 
tnummy pits and Herodotus that it was the same in species as ours. The first portraits 
of the cat are on the monuments of " Beni Hasan," B.C. 2500. I have ventured to 
derive the familiar " Puss" from the Arab. " Biss" (fern. "Bissah"), which is a con- 
gener "of Pasht (Diana), the cat-faced goddess of Bubastis (Pi-Pasht), now Zaga"ztg. 
Laslly " tabby (brindled) -cat ," is derived from the Attabi (Prince Attab's) quarter at 
Baghdad where watered silks were made. It is usually attributed to the Tibbie, Tibalt, 
Tybalt, Thibert or Tybert (who is also executioner), various forms of Theobald in the 
old Beast Epic; as opposed to Gilbert the gib-cat, either a tom-cat or a gibbed 
(castrated) cat. 

150 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

throw out the dogs ; and yet tempting them to follow for the 
purpose of tearing him to pieces. But as soon as they came near 
him, he would fly up a little ; and so at last he brought them to 
the tree, under which was the leopard. And when the dogs saw 
him they rushed upon him and he turned and fled. Now the 
leopard thought to eat the cat who was saved by the craft of his 
friend the crow. This story, O King, showeth that the friendship 
of the Brothers of Purity * delivereth and sayeth from difficulties 
and from falling into mortal dangers. And they also tell a 
tale of 


A Fox once dwelt in a cave of a certain mountain and, as often as 
a cub was born to him and grew stout, he would eat the young one, 
for he had died of hunger, had he instead of so doing left the cub 
alive and bred it by his side and preserved and cherished his issue. 
Yet was this very grievous to him. Now on the crest of the same 
mountain a crow had made his nest, and the fox said to himself, 
" I have a mind to set up a friendship with this crow and make a 
comrade of him, that he may help me to my daily bread ; for he 
can do in such matters what I cannot." So he drew near the 
crow's home and, when he came within sound of speech, he saluted 
him and said, " O my neighbour, verily a true-believer hath two 
claims upon his true-believing neighbour, the right of neighbour- 
liness and the right of Al-Islam, our common faith ; and know, 
O my friend, that thou art my neighbour and thou hast a claim 
upon me which it behoveth me to observe, the more that I 
have long been thy neighbour. Also, there be implanted in my 
breast a store of love to thee, which biddeth me speak thee fair 
and obligeth me to solicit thy brothership. What sayest thou in 
reply? " Answered the crow, " Verily, the truest speech is the best 
speech ; and haply thou speakest with thy tongue that which is not 
in thy heart ; so I fear lest thy brotherhood be only of the tongue, 

1 Arab. " Ikhwan al-Safa," a popular term for virtuous friends who perfectly love each 
other in all purity: it has also a mystic meaning. Some translate it "Brethren of 
Sincerity," and hold this brotherhood to be Moslem Freemasons, a mere fancy (see the 
Mesnevi of Mr. Redhouse, Trubner 1881). There is a well-known Hindustani book of 
this name printed by Prof. Forbes in Persian character and translated by Platts and. 

The Flea and the Mouse. 151 

outward, and thy enmity be in the heart, inward ; for that thou art 
the Eater and I the Eaten, and faring apart were apter to us than 
friendship and fellowship. What, then, maketh thee seek that 
which thou mayst not gain and desire what may not be done, 
seeing that I be of the bird-kind and thou be of the beast-kind ? 
Verily, this thy proffered brotherhood 1 may not be made, neither 
were it seemly to make it." Rejoined the fox, " Of a truth whoso, 
knoweth the abiding- place of excellent things, maketh better choice 
in what he chooseth therefrom, so perchance he may advantage 
his brethren ; and indeed I should love to wone near thee and I 
have sued for thine intimacy, to the end that we may help each 
other to our several objects ; and success shall surely wait upon 
our amity. I have a many tales of the goodliness of true friend- 
ship, which I will relate to thee if thou wish the relating." 
Answered the crow, "Thou hast my leave to let me hear thy 
communication ; so tell thy tale, and relate it to me that I may 
hearken to it and weigh it and judge of thine intent thereby." 
Rejoined the fox," Hear then, O my friend, that which is told of a 
flea and a mouse and which beareth out what I have said to thee." 
Asked the crow, " How so ? " and the fox answered : They tell 
this tale of 


ONCE upon a time a mouse dwelt in the house of a merchant who 
owned much merchandise and great store of monies. One night, 
a flea took shelter in the merchant's carpet-bed and, finding his 
body soft, and being thirsty drank of his blood. The merchant 
was awakened by the smart of the bite and sitting up called to 
his slave-girls and serving men. So they hastened to him and, 
tucking up their sleeves, fell to searching for the flea ; but as soon 
as the bloodsucker was aware of the search, he turned to flee and 
Doming on the mouse's home, entered it. When the mouse saw 

1 Among Eastern men there are especial forms for " making brotherhood." The 
" Munh-bola-bhai " (mouth-named brother) of India is well-known. The intense 
" associativeness " of these races renders isolation terrible to them, and being defence- 
less in a wild state of society has special horrors. Hence the origin of Caste for which 
see Pilgrimage (i. 52). Moslems, however, cannot practise the African rite of drinking 
a few drops of each other's blood. This, by the by, was also affected io Europe, as we 
see in the Gesta Romanorum, Tale Ixvii., of the wise and foolish knights who "drew 
blood (to drink) from the right arm." 

152 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

him, she said to him, " What bringeth thee in to me, thou who art 
not of my nature nor of my kind, and who canst not be assured of 
safety from violence or of not being expelled with roughness and 
ill usage ? " Answered the flea, " Of a truth, I took refuge in thy 
dwelling to save me from slaughter; and I have come to thee 
seeking thy protection and on nowise coveting thy house ; nor 
shall any mischief betide thee from me to make thee leave thy 
home. Nay, I hope right soon to repay thy favours to me 
with all good and then shalt thou see and praise the issue of 
my words." And when the mouse heard the speech of the flea, 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

Jiofo fo&en it foas tfje J&utf&rrti anto jptftg^first 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
mouse heard the words of the flea, she said, "If the case be as thou 
dost relate and describe, then be at thine ease here ; for naught 
shall befal thee save the rain of peace and safety ; nor shall aught 
betide thee but what shall joy thee and shall not annoy thee, nor 
shall it annoy me. I will lavish on thee my affections without 
stint ; and do not thou regret having lost the merchant's blood nor 
lament for thy subsistence from him, but be content with what 
sustenance thou canst obtain ; for indeed that is the safer for thee. 
And I have heard, O flea, that one of the gnomic poets saith as 
follows in these couplets : 

I have fared content in my solitude o With whate'er befel, and led life of 

On a water-draught and a bite of bread, o Coarse salt and a gown of tattered 

frieze : 
Allah might, an He pleased, give me easiest life, o But with whatso pleaseth 

Him self I please." 

Now when the flea heard these words of the mouse, he rejoined, " I 
hearken to thy charge and I submit myself to obey thee, nor have 
I power to gainsay thee, till life be fulfilled in this righteous inten- 
tion." Replied the mouse, " Pure intention sufficeth to sincere 
affection. So the tie of love arose and was knitted between them 
twain and, after this, the flea used to visit the merchant's bed by 
night and not exceed in his diet, and house him by day in the hole 
of the mouse. Now it came to pass one night, the merchant 

The Flea and the Mouse. 153 

brought home great store of dinars and began to turn them over. 
When the mouse heard the chink of the coin, she put her head out 
of her hole and fell to gazing at it, till the merchant laid it under 
his pillow and went to sleep, when she said to the flea, " Seest thou 
not the proffered occasion and the great good fortune ? Hast thou 
any device to bring us to our desire of yonder dinars ? " Quoth the 
flea, " Verily, it is not good that one strive for aught, unless he be 
able to win his will ; because, if he lack ability thereto, he falleth 
into that which he should avoid and he attaineth not his wish by 
reason of his weakness, albeit he use all power of cunning, like 
the sparrow which picketh up grain and falleth into the net and 
is caught by the fowler. Thou hast no strength to take the 
dinars and to transport them out of this house, nor have I force 
sufficient to do this ; on the contrary, I could not carry a single 
ducat of them ; so what hast thou to do with them ? " Quoth 
the mouse, " I have made me for my house these seventy open- 
ings, whence I may go out at my desire, and I have set apart 
a place strong and safe, for things of price ; and, if thou can 
contrive to get the merchant out of the house, I doubt not of 
success, an so be that Fate aid me." Answered the flea, " I will 
engage to get him out of the house for thee ; " and, going to 
the merchant's bed, bit him a fearful bite, such as he had never 
before felt, then fled to a place of safety, where he had no fear 
of the man. So the merchant awoke and sought for the flea, 
but finding him not, lay down again on his other side. Then the 
flea bit him a second time more painfully than before. So he 
lost patience and, leaving his bed, went out and lay down on 
the bench before his door and slept there and awoke not till 
the morning. Meanwhile the mouse came out and fell to carrying 
the dinars into her hole, till she left not a single one ; and when 
day dawned the merchant began to suspect the folk and fancy 
all manner of fancies. And (continued the fox) know thou, O 
wise and experienced crow with the clear-seeing eyes, that I 
tell thee this only to the intent that thou mayst reap the recom- 
pense of thy kindness to me, even as the mouse reaped the 
reward of her kindness to the flea ; for see how he repaid her 
and requited her with the goodliest of requitals. Said the crow, 
" It lies with the benefactor to show benevolence or not to show 
it ; nor is it incumbent on us to entreat kindly one who seeketh 
a connection that entaileth separation from kith and kin. If I 
show thee favour who art my foe by kind, I am the cause of 

154 Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

cutting myself off from the world ; and thou, O fox, art full of 
wiles and guiles. Now those whose characteristics are craft and 
cunning, must not be trusted upon oath; and whoso is not to be 
trusted upon oath, in him there is no good faith. The tidings 
lately reached me of thy treacherous dealing with one of thy com- 
rades, which was a wolf; and how thou didst deceive him until 
thou leddest him into destruction by thy perfidy and stratagems ; 
and this thou diddest after he was of thine own kind and thou 
hadst long consorted with him ; yet didst thou not spare him ; 
and if thou couldst deal thus with thy fellow which was of thine 
own kind, how can I have trust in thy truth and what would be 
thy dealing with thy foe of other kind than thy kind ? Nor can 
I compare thee and me but with the saker and the birds." " How 
so ? " asked the fox. Answered the crow : They relate this tale of 


THERE was once a saker who was a cruel tyrant -- And Shah- 
razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her per- 
mitted say. 

jLoto tofjm it toaa tfie Jun*ret> an* 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the crow 
pursued, " They relate that there was once a saker who was a 
cruel tyrant in the days of his youth, so that the raveners of 
the air and the scavengers of the earth feared him, none being 
safe from his mischief; and many were the haps and mishaps of 
his tyranny and his violence, for this saker was ever in the habit 
of oppressing and injuring all the other birds. As the years passed 
over him, he grew feeble and his force failed him, so that he was 

1 The F. Sacer in India is called " Laghar " and her tiercel " Jaghar." Mr. T. E. 
Jordan (catalogue of Indian Birds, 1839) says it is rare; but I found it the contrary. 
According to Mr. R. Thompson it is flown at kites and antelope ; in Sind it is used upon 
night-heron (tiyctardea nycticorax)^ floriken or Hobara (Otis auritd) t quail, partridge, 
curlew and sometimes hare : it gives excellent sport with crows but requires to be defended. 
Indian sportsmen, like ourselves, divide hawks into two orders : the " Siyah-chasm," or 
black-eyed birds, long- winged and noble; the " Gulabi-chasra " or yellow-eyed (like 
the goshawk) round-winged and ignoble/ 

The Sparrow and the Eagle. 155 

often famished ; but his cunning waxed stronger with the waning 
of his strength and he redoubled in his endeavour and determined 
to be present at the general assembly of the birds, that he might 
eat of their orts and leavings ; so in this manner he fed by fraud 
instead of feeding by fierceness and force. And thou, O fox, art 
like this : if thy might fail thee, thy sleight faileth thee not ; and I 
doubt not that thy seeking my society is a fraud to get thy food ; 
but I am none of those who fall to thee and put fist into thy fist ; l 
for that Allah hath vouchsafed force to my wings and caution to 
my mind and sharp sight to my eyes ; and I know that whoso 
apeth a stronger than he, wearieth himself and haply cometh to 
ruin. Wherefore I fear for thee lest, if thou ape a stronger than 
thyself, there befal thee what befel the sparrow." Asked the fox, 
41 What befel the sparrow ? Allah upon thee, tell me his tale." 
And the crow began to relate the story of 


I HAVE heard that a sparrow was once flitting over a sheep-fold, 
when he looked at it carefully and behold, he saw a great eagle 
swoop down upon a newly yeaned lamb and carry it off in his 
claws and fly away. Thereupon the sparrow clapped his wings 
and said, " I will do even as this one did ;" and he waxed proud 
in his own conceit and mimicked a greater than he. So he flew 
down forthright and lighted on the back of a fat ram with a thick 
fleece, that was become matted by his lying in his dung and stale 
till it was like woollen felt. As soon as the sparrow pounced upon 
the sheep's back he flapped his wings to fly away, but his feet 
became tangled in the wool and, however hard he tried, he could 
not set himself free. While all this was doing the shepherd was 
looking on, haying seen what happened first with the eagle and 
afterwards with the sparrow ; so he came up to the wee birdie in a 
rage and seized him. Then he plucked out his wing-feathers and, 
tying his feet with a twine, carried him to his children and threw 
him to them. " What is this ? " asked, one of them ; and he 
answered, " This is he that aped a greater than himself and came 
to grief." Now thou, O fox, art like this and I would have thee 

1 &*. put themselves at thy mercy. 

1 56 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

beware of aping a greater than thou, lest thou perish. This is all 
I have to say to thee ; so fare from me in peace ! When the fox 
despaired of the crow's friendship, he turned away, groaning for 
sorrow and gnashing teeth upon teeth in his disappointment ; and 
the crow, hearing the sound of weeping and seeing his grief and 
profound melancholy, said to him, " O fox, what dole and dolour 
make thee gnash thy canines ? " Answered the fox, " I gnash my 
canines because I find thee a greater rascal than myself;" and so 
saying he made off to his house and ceased not to fare till he 
reached his home. Quoth the Sultan, "O Shahrazad, how ex* 
<;ellent are these thy stories, and how delightsome ! Hast thou 
more of such edifying tales?" Answered she: They tell this 
legend concerning 


A HEDGEHOG once took up his abode by the side of a date-palm, 
whereon roosted a wood-pigeon and his wife that had built their 
nest there and lived a life of ease and enjoyment. So he said to 
himself, " This pigeon-pair eateth of the fruit of the date 'tree and 
I have no means of getting at it ; but needs must I find some 
fashion of tricking them." Upon this he dug a hole at the foot of 
the palm-tree and took up his lodging there, he and his wife; 
moreover, he built an oratory beside the hole and went into 
retreat there and made a show of devotion and edification and 
renunciation of the world. The male pigeon saw him praying and 
worshipping, and his heart was softened towards him for his excess 
of devoutness ; so he said to him, " How many years hast thou 
been thus ? " Replied the hedgehog, " During the last thirty 
years." " What is thy food ? " " That which falleth from the 
palm-tree." " And what is thy clothing ? " " Prickles ! and I 
profit by their roughness." " And why hast thou chosen this for 
place rather than another ? " " I chose it and preferred it to all 
others that I might guide the erring into the right way and teach 
the ignorant ! " "I had fancied thy case," quoth the wood-pigeon, 
" other than this, but now I yearn for that which is with thee." 
Quoth the hedgehog, " I fear lest thy deed contradict thy word and 
thou be even as the husbandman who, when the seed- season came, 
neglected to sow, say ing, Verily I dread lest the days bring me not to 

The Hedgehog and the Wood-Pigeons* 

my desire, and by making haste to sow I shall only waste my sub- 
stance ! When harvest-time came and he saw the folk earing their 
crops, he repented him of what he had lost by his tardiness and he 
died of chagrin and vexation." Asked the wood-pigeon, " What 
then shall I do that I may be freed from the bonds of the world 
and cut myself loose from all things save the service of my Lord ? " 
Answered the hedgehog, " Betake thee to preparing for the next 
world and content thyself with a pittance of provision/* Quoth 
the pigeon, " How can I do this, I that am a bird and unable to go 
beyond the date -tree whereon is my daily bread ? And even could 
I do so, I know of no other place wherein I may wone." Quoth 
the hedgehog, " Thou canst shake down of the fruit of the date- 
tree what shall suffice thee and thy wife for a year's provaunt ; 
then do ye take up your abode in a nest under the trunk, that 
ye may prayerfully seek to be guided in the right way, and then 
turn thou to what thou hast shaken down and transport it all 
to thy home and store it up against what time the dates fail ; and 
when the fruits are spent and the delay is longsome upon you, 
address thyself to total abstinence." Exclaimed the pigeon, 
** Allah requite thee with good for the righteous intention where- 
with thou hast reminded me of the world to come and hast 
directed me into the right way ! " Then he and his wife worked 
hard at knocking down the dates, till nothing was left on the 
palm-tree, whilst the hedgehog, finding whereof to eat, rejoiced 
and filled his den with the fruit, storing it up for his subsistence 
and saying in his mind, " When the pigeon and his wife have 
need of their provision, they will seek it of me and covet what 
I have, relying upon my devoutness and abstinence ; and, from 
what they have heard of my counsels and admonitions, they will 
draw near unto me. Then will I make them my prey and eat 
them, after which I shall have the place and all that drops from 
the date-tree to suffice me." Presently, having shaken down 
the fruits, the pigeon and his wife descended from the tree-top 
and finding that the hedgehog had removed all the dates to his 
own place, said to him, " O hedgehog ! thou pious preacher and 
of good counsel, we can find no sign of the dates and know not 
on what else we shall feed." Replied the hedgehog, " Probably 
the winds have carried them away ; but the turning from the 
provisions to the Provider is of the essence of salvation, and 
He who the mouth-corners cleft, the mouth without victual hath 
never left." And he gave not over improving the occasion to them 

158 Alf Laylah wa LaylaJi. 

on this wise, and making a show of piety and cozening them with 
fine words and false till they put faith in him and accepted him 
and entered his den and had no suspicion of his deceit. There- 
upon he sprang to the door and gnashed his teeth, and the wood- 
pigeon, seeing his perfidy manifested, said to him, " What hath 
to-night to do with yester-night ? Knowest thou not that there is 
a Helper for the oppressed ? Beware of craft and treachery, lest 
that mishap befal thee which befel the sharpers who plotted 
against the merchant." " What was that ? " asked the hedgehog. 
Answered the pigeon : I have heard tell this tale of 


IN a city called Sindah there was once a very wealthy merchant, 
who made ready his camel-loads and equipped himself with goods 
and set out with his outfit for such a city, purposing to sell it there. 
Now he was followed by two sharpers, who had made up into bales 
what merchandise they could get ; and, giving out to the merchant 
that they also were merchants, wended with him by the way. So 
halting at the first halting-place they agreed to play him false* and 
take all he had ; but at the same time, each inwardly plotted foul 
play to the other, saying in his mind, " If I can cheat my comrade, 
times will go well with me and I shall have all these goods to 
myself." So after planning this perfidy, one of them took food and 
putting therein poison, brought it to his fellow ; the other did the 
same and they both ate of the poisoned mess and they both died. 
Now they had been sitting with the merchant ; so when they left 
him and were long absent from him, he sought for tidings of them 
and found the twain lying dead ; whereby he knew that they were 
sharpers who had plotted to play him foul, but their foul play had 
recoiled upon themselves, So the merchant was preserved and 
took what they had. Then quoth the Sultan, " O Shahrazad, verily 
thou hast aroused me to all whereof I was negligent ! So continue 
to edify me with these fables." Quoth she : It hath reached me r 
O King, that men tell this tak of 

The Thief and his Monkey. 159 


A CERTAIN man had a monkey and that man was a thief, who 
never entered any of the street-markets of the city wherein he 
dwelt, but he made off with great profit. Now it came to pass 
one day that he saw a man offering for sale worn clothes, and 
he went calling them in the market, but none bid for them and all 
to whom he showed them refused to buy of him. Presently the 
thief who had the monkey saw the man with the ragged clothes set 
them in a wrapper and sit down to rest for weariness ; so he made 
the ape sport before him to catch his eye and, whilst he was busy 
gazing at it, stole the parcel from him. Then he took the ape and 
made off to a lonely place, where he opened the wrapper and, 
taking out the old clothes, folded them in a piece of costly stuff. 
This he carried to another bazar and exposed for sale together 
with what was therein, making it a condition that it should not be 
opened, and tempting the folk with the lowness of the price he set 
on it. A certain man saw the wrapper and its beauty pleased 
him ; so he bought the parcel on these terms and carried it home, 
doubting not that he had done well. When his wife saw it she 
asked, " What is this ?" and he answered, " It is costly stuff, which 
I have bought at lowest price, meaning to sell it again and take 
the profit." Rejoined she, " O dupe, would this stuff be sold under 
its value, unless it had been stolen ? Dost thou not know that 
whoso buyeth aught without examining it, falleth into error, and 
becometh like unto the weaver ? " Quoth he, " And what is the 
story of the weaver ? "; and quoth she : I have heard this tale of 


THERE was once in a certain village a weaver who worked hard but 
could not earn his living save by overwork. Now it chanced that 
one of the richards of the neighbourhood made a marriage feast 

* I have remarked (Pilgrimage iii. 307) that all the popular ape-names in Arabic and 
Persian, Sa'adan, Maymun, Shadi, etc., express propitiousness probably euphemistically 
applied to our " poor relation." 

i6o A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

and invited the folk thereto: the weaver also was present and 
found the guests, who wore rich gear, served with delicate viands 
and made much of by the house-master for what he saw of their 
fine clothes. So he said in his mind, " If I change this my craft 
for another craft easier to compass and better considered and more 
highly paid, I shall amass great store of money and I shall buy 
splendid attire, so I may rise in rank and be exalted in men's 
eyes and become even with these " Presently, he beheld one of 
the mountebanks, who was present at the feast, climbing up to the 
top of a high and towering wall and throwing himself down to the 
ground and alighting on his feet. Whereupon the weaver said to 
himself, " Needs must I do as this one hath done, for surely I shall 
not fail of it." So he arose and swarmed up the wall and casting- 
himself down, broke his neck against the ground and died forth- 
right. Now I tell thee this that thou mayst get thy living by what 
way thou knowest and thoroughly understandest, lest peradventure 
greed enter into thee and thou lust after what is not of thy condi- 
tion." Quoth the woman's husband, " Not every wise man is saved 
by his wisdom, nor is every fool lost by his folly. I have seen it 
happen to a skilful charmer, well versed in the ways of serpents, to 
be struck by the fangs of a snake 1 and killed, and others prevail 
over serpents who had no skill in them and no knowledge of their 
ways." And he went contrary to his wife and persisted in buying 
stolen goods below their value till he fell under suspicion and 
perished therefor : even as perished the sparrow in the tale of 

1 The serpent does not "sting" nor does it "bite;" it strikes with the poison-teeth 
like a downward stab with a dagger. These fangs are always drawn by the jugglers but 
they grow again and thus many lives are lost. The popular way of extracting the crochets 
is to grasp the snake firmly behind the neck with one hand and with the other to tantalise 
it by offering and withdrawing a red rag. At last the animal is allowed to strike it and 
a sharp jerk tears out both eye-teeth as rustics used to do by slamming a door. The 
head is then held downwards and the venom drains from its bag in the shape of a few 
drops of slightly yellowish fluid which, as conjurers know, may be drunk without danger. 
The patient looks faint and dazed, but recovers after a few hours and feeds as if nothing 
had happened. In India I took lessons from a snake-charmer but soon gave up the 
practice as too dangerous, 

The Sparrow and the Peacock. 161 


THERE was once upon a time a sparrow, that used every day to 
visit a certain king of the birds and ceased not to wait upon him 
in the mornings and not to leave him till the evenings, being the 
first to go in and the last to go out. One day, a company of birds 
chanced to assemble on a high mountain and one of them said to 
another, "Verily, we are waxed many, and many are the differences 
between us, and there is no help for it but we have a king to look 
into our affairs ; so shall we all be at one and our differences will 
disappear." Thereupon up came that sparrow and counselled them 
to choose for King the peacock (that is, the prince he used to visit). 
So they chose the peacock to their King and he, become their 
sovereign, bestowed largesse on them and made the sparrow his 
secretary and Prime Minister. Now the sparrow was wont by- 
times to quit his assiduous service in the presence and look into 
matters in general. So one day he absented himself at the usual 
time, whereat the peacock was sore troubled ; and, while things 
stood thus, he returned and the peacock said to him, " What hath 
delayed thee, and thou the nearest to me of all my servants and 
the dearest of all my dependents ? " Replied the sparrow, " I have 
seen a thing which is doubtful to me and whereat I am affrighted." 
Asked the peacock, " What was it thou savvest ? " ; and the sparrow 
answered, " I saw a man set up a net, hard by my nest, peg down 
its pegs, strew grain in its midst and withdraw afar off. And I sat 
watching what he would do when behold, fate and fortune drave 
thither a crane and his wife, which fell into the midst of the net 
and began to cry out ; whereupon the fowler rose up and took 
them. This troubled me, and such is the reason of my absence 
from thee, O King of the Age, but never again will I abide in that 
nest for fear of the net." Rejoined the peacock, "Depart not 
thy dwelling, for against fate and lot forethought will avail thee 
naught." And the sparrow obeyed his bidding and said, " I will 
forthwith arm myself with patience and forbear to depart in 
obedience to the King." So he ceased not taking care of himself, 
and carrying food to his sovereign, who would eat what sufficed 
him and after feeding drink his water and dismiss the sparrow.- 
Now one day as he was looking into matters, lo and behold ! he 
saw two sparrows fighting on the ground and said in his mind, 

1 62 Atf Laylah wa Laylah* 

" How can I, who am the King's Wazir, look on and see sparrow^ 
fighting in my neighbourhood ? By Allah, I must make peace 
between them !" So he flew down to reconcile them ; but the fowler 
cast the net over the whole number and the sparrow happened to 
be in their very midst. Then the fowler arose and took him and 
gave him to his comrade, saying, " Take care of him, I never saw 
fatter or finer." But the sparrow said to himself" I have fallen into 
that which 1 feared and none but the peacock inspired me with 
false confidence. It availed me naught to beware of the stroke of 
fate and fortune, since even he who taketh precaution may never 
flee from destiny. And how well said the poet in this poetry : 

Whatso is not to be shall ne'er become ; o No wise ! and that to be must come 

to pass ; 
Yea, it shall come to pass at time ordained, o And th> Ignoramus 1 aye shall cry 


Whereupon quoth the King, " O Shahrazad, recount me other of 
these tales ! "; and quoth she, " I will do so during the coming 
night, if life be granted to me by the King whom Allah bring to 
honour !" -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 
ceased to say her permitted say. 

Jloto toljen it toa* tfje l^iuftrett an* 
She said : I will relate the 


IT hath reached me, O august King, that in days of yore and in 
times and ages long gone before, during the Caliphate of Harun 
al-Rashid, there was a merchant who named his son Abu al-Hasan 2 

1 Arab/'Akh al-Jahalah " = brother of ignorance, an Ignorantin ; one "really and 
truly" ignorant; which is the value of " Akh " in such phrases as "a brother of 
poverty," or, "of purity." 

2 Lane (ii. i) writes "Abu-1- Hasan ;" Payne (Hi. 49) "Aboulhusn" which would 
mean " Father of Beauty (Husn) " and is not a Moslem name. Hasan (beautiful) and 
its dimin. Husayn, names now so common, were (it is said), unknown to the Arabs, 
although Hassan was that of a Tobba King, before the days of Mohammed who so called 
his two only grandsons. In Anglo-India they have become " Hobson and Jobson." 
The Bresl. Edit. (ii. 305) entitles this story Tale of Abu '1 Hasan the Attar (druggist 
and perfumer) with Ali ibn Bakkar and what befel them with the handmaid (=jariyab) 

Shams al-Naha* .** 

Tale of Ali bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 163 

AH bin Tahir ; and the same was great of goods and grace, while 
his son was fair of form and face and held in favour by all folk. 
He used to enter the royal palace without asking leave, for all the 
Caliph's concubines and slave-girls loved him, and he was wont to 
be companion with Al-Rashid in his cups and recite verses to him 
and tell him curious tales and witty. Withal he sold and bought 
in the merchants' bazar, and there used to sit in his shop a youth 
named Ali bin Bakkdr, of the sons of the Persian Kings 1 who was for- 
mous of form and symmetrical of shape and perfect of figure, with 
cheeks red as roses and joined eyebrows ; sweet of speech, laugh- 
ing-lipped and delighting in mirth and gaiety. Now it chanced 
one day, as the two sat talking and laughing behold, there came up 
ten damsels like moons, every one of them complete in beauty and 
loveliness^ and elegance and grace; and amongst them was a young 
lady riding on a she-mule with a saddle of brocade and stirrups of 
gold. She wore an outer veil of fine stuff, and her waist was girt 
with a girdle of gold-embroidered silk ; and she was even as saith 
the poet : 

Silky her skin and silk that zon&d waist ; o Sweet voice ; words not o'er 

many nor too few : 
Two eyes quoth Allah " Be," and they became ; o And work like wine on hearts 

they make to rue : 
O love I feel ! grow greater every night : o O solace ! Doom-day bring 

our interview. 

And when the cortege reached Abu al-Hasan's shop, she alighted 
from her mule, and sitting down on the front board, 2 saluted him, 
and he returned her salam. When Ali bin Bakkar saw her, she 
ravished his understanding and he rose to go away ; but she said to 
him, " Sit in thy place. We came to thee and thou goest away : 
this is not fair! " Replied he, " O my lady, by Allah, I flee from 
what I see ; for the tongue of the case saith : 

She is a sun which towereth high a-sky ; o So ease thy heart with cure by 

Patience lent : 
Thou to her skyey height shalt fail to fly ; a Nor she from skyey height can 

make descent." 

When she heard this, she smiled and asked Abu al-Hasan, " What 

1 i.e. a descendant, not a Prince. 

2 The Arab shop is a kind of hole in the wall and buyers sit upon Us outer edge, 
(Pilgrimage i. 99). 

*4 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

is the name of this young man ? "; who answered, " He is a 
stranger ;" and she enquired, " What countryman is he ? "; whereto 
the merchant replied, <f He is a descendant of the Persian Kings ; 
his name is Ali son of Bakkar and the stranger deserveth honour." 
Rejoined she, "When my damsel comes to thee, come thou at once 
to us and bring him with thee, that we may entertain him in our 
abode, lest he blame us and say : There is no hospitality in the 
people of Baghdad ; for niggardliness is the worst fault a man can 
have. Thou hearest what I say to thee and, if thou disobey me, 
thou wilt incur my displeasure and I will never again visit thee or 
salute thee." Quoth Abu al-Hasan, " On my head and my eyes : 
Allah preserve me from thy displeasure, fair lady !" Then she rose 
and went her way. Such was her case ; but as regards Ali bin 
Bakkar he remained in a state of bewilderment. Now after an hour 
the damsel came to Abu al-Hasan and said to him, " Of a truth my 
lady Shams al-Nahdr, the favourite of the Commander of the Faith- 
ful, Harun al-Rashid, biddeth thee to her, thee and thy friend, my 
lord Ali bin Bakkar." So he rose and, taking Ali with him, followed 
the girl to the Caliph's palace, where she carried them into a 
chamber and made them sit down. They talked together awhile, 
when behold, trays of food were set before them, and they ate and 
-washed their hands. Then she brought them wine, and they drank 
deep and made merry ; after which she bade them rise and carried 
them into another chamber, vaulted upon four* columns, furnished 
after the goodliest fashion with various kinds of furniture, and 
adorned with decorations as it were one of the pavilions of Para- 
dise. They were amazed at the rarities they saw ; and, as they were 
enjoying a review of these marvels, suddenly up came ten slave- 
girls, like moons, swaying and swimming in beauty's pride, dazzling 
the sight and confounding the sprite ; and they ranged themselves 
hi two ranks as if they were of the black-eyed Brides of Paradise. 
And after a while in came other ten damsels, bearing in their 
hands lutes and divers instruments of mirth and music ; and these, 
having saluted the two guests, sat down and fell to tuning their 
lute-strings. Then they rose and standing before them, played and 
sang and recited verses : and indeed each one of them was a seduc- 
tion to the servants of the Lord. Whilst they were thus busied 
there entered other ten damsels like unto them, high-bosomed 
maids and of an equal age, with black eyes and cheeks like the 
rose, joined eyebrows and looks languorous ; a, very fascination to 
every faithful wight and to all who looked upon them a delight ; 

Tale of AH bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nafiar. 165 

clad in various kinds of coloured silks, with ornaments that amazed 
man's intelligence. They took up their station at the door, and 
there succeeded them yet other ten damsels even fairer than they, 
clad in gorgeous array, such as no tongue can say ; and they also 
stationed themselves by the doorway. Then in came a band of 
twenty damsels and amongst' them the lady, Shams al-Nahar 
hight, as she were the moon among the stars swaying from side to 
side, with luring gait and in beauty's pride. And she was veiled 
to the middle with the luxuriance of her locks, and clad in a robe 
of azure blue and a mantilla of silk embroidered with gold and 
gems of price ; and her waist was girt with a zone set with various 
kinds of precious stones. She ceased not to advance with her 
graceful and coquettish swaying, till she came to tftfe couch that 
stood at the upper end of the chamber and seated herself thereon. 
But when Ali bin Bakkar saw her, he versified with these verses : fc 

Source of mine evils, truly, she alone *s, o Of long love-longing and my 

groans and moans ; 
Near her I find my soul in melting mood, o For love of her and wasting of my 


And finishing his poetry he said to Abu al-Hasan, " Hadst thou 
dealt more kindly with me thou haddest forewarned me of these 
things ere I came hither, that I might have made up my mind and 
taken patience to support what hath befallen me." And he wept 
and groaned and complained. Replied Abu al-Hasan, " O my 
brother, I meant thee naught but good ; but I feared to tell thee 
this, lest such transport should betide thee as might hinder thee 
from foregathering with her, and be a stumbling-block between 
thee and her. But be of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool and 
clear j 1 for she to thee inclineth and to favour thee designeth." 
Asked Ali bin Bakkar, "What is this young lady's name?" 
Answered Abu al Hasan, " She is hight Shams al-Nahar, one of 
the favourites of the Commander of the Faithful, Harun al-Rashid, 
and this is the palace of the Caliphate." Then Shams al-Nahar 
sat gazing upon the charms of Ali bin Bakkar and he upon hers, till 
both were engrossed with love for each other. Presently she com* 
manded the damsels, one and all, to be seated, each in her rank 

1 By a similar image the chamaeleon. is called Abu Kurrat = Father of coolness J 
because it is said to have the "coldest" eye of all animals and insensible to heat and 
light, since it always looks at the sun. 

Atf Laylah wa LaylaH. 

and place, and all sat on a couch before one of the windows, and 
she bade them sing ; whereupon one of them took up the lute and 
began carolling : 

Give thou my message twice o Bring clear reply in trice ! 

To thee, O Prince of Beau o -ty * with complaint I rise : 

My lord, as heart-blood dear o And Life's most precious prize I 

Give me one kiss in gift > Or loan, if thou devise : 

And if thou crave for more o Take all that satisfies. 2 

Thou donn'st me sickness-dress o Thee with health's weed I bless. 

Her singing charmed AH bin Bakkar, and he said to her, " Sing 
me more of the like of these verses." So she struck the strings 
and began to chaunt these lines : 

By stress of parting. O beloved one, o Thou mad'st these eyelids 

torrent-race to run : 

Oh gladness of my sight and dear desire, o Goal of my wishes, my reli- 
gion ! 

Pity the youth whose eyne are drowned in tears o Of lover gone distraught and 
clean undone. 

When she had finished her verses, Shams al-Nahar said to another 
damsel, " Let us hear something from thee ! " So she played a 
lively measure and began these couplets : 

His 3 looks have made me drunken, not his wine ; o His grace of gait disgraced 

sleep to these eyne: 
Dazed me no cup, but cop with curly crop; o His gifts overcame me not 

the gifts of vine : 
His winding locks my patience-clue unwound : o His robed beauties robbed 

all wits of mine. 

When Shams Al-Nahar heard this recital from the damsel, she 
sighed heavily and the song pleased her. Then she bade another 
damsel sing ; so she took the lute and began chanting : 

1 This dividing the hemistich words is characteristic of certain tales; so I have 

retained it although inevitably suggesting : 

I left Matilda at the U- 
niversity of Gottingen. 

3 These naive offers in Eastern tales mostly come from the true seducer Eve. Europe; 
and England especially, still talks endless absurdity upon the subject. A man of this 
World may "seduce" an utterly innocent (which means an ignorant) girl. But to 
'* seduce " a married woman ! What a farce t 

3 Masculine again for feminine : the lines are as full of word-plays, vulgarly called 
.puns, as Sanskrit verses. 

Tale of All bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 167 

Face that with Sol in Heaven lamping vies ; o Youth-tide's fair fountain which 
begins to rise ; 

Whose curly side-beard writeth writ of love, o And in each curl concealeth 
mysteries : 

Cried Beauty, " When I met this youth I knew o Tis Allah's loom such gor- 
geous robe supplies." 

When she had finished her song, AH bin Bakkar said to the slave- 
maiden nearest him, " Sing us somewhat, thou O damsel." So she 
took the lute and began singing : 

" Our trysting-time is all too short o For this long coyish coquetry: 

How long this * Nay, Nay ! ' and ' Wait, wait ? ' o This is not old nobility! 
And now that Time deigns lend delight o Profit of th' opportunity." 

When she ended, Ali bin Bakkar followed up her song with flowing 
tears ; and, as Shams al-Nahar saw him weeping and groaning 
and complaining, she burned with love-longing and desire; and 
passion and transport consumed her. So she rose from the sofa 
and came to the door of the alcove, where Ali met her and they 
embraced with arms round the neck, and fell down fainting in the 
doorway; whereupon the damsels came to them and carrying 
them into the alcove, sprinkled rose-water upon them both. When 
they recovered, they found not Abu al-Hasan who had hidden 
himself by the side of a couch, and the young lady said, " Where 
is Abu al-Hasan ? " So he showed himself to her from beside the 
couch and she saluted him, saying, '* 1 pray Allah to give me the 
means of requiting thee, O kindest of men ! " Then she turned 
to Ali bin Bakkar and said to him, " O my lord, passion hath not 
reached this extreme pass with thee without my feeling the like ; 
but we have nothing to do save to bear patiently what calamity 
hath befallen us." Replied he, " By Allah, O my lady, union with 
thee may not content me nor gazing upon thee assuage the fire 
thou hast lighted, nor shall leave me the love of thee which hath 
mastered my heart but with the leaving of my life." So saying, 
he wept and the tears ran down upon his cheeks like thridded 
pearls ; and when Shams al-Nahar saw him weep, she wept for 
his weeping. But Abu al-Hasan exclaimed, " By Allah, 1 wonder 
at your case and am confounded at your condition ; of a truth, your 
affair is amazing and your chance dazing. What ! this weeping 
while ye are yet together : then how will it be what time ye are 
parted and far separated ? " And he continued, " Indeed, this is 
no tide for weeping and wailing, but a season for meeting and 

1 68 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

merry-making ; rejoice, therefore, and take your pleasure and shed 
no more tears!" Then Shams al-Nahar signed to a slave-girlt 
who arose and presently returned with handmaids bearing a table, 
whose dishes of silver were full of various rich viands. They set 
the table before the pair and Shams al-Nahar began to eat 1 and 
to place tid-bits in the mouth of Ali bin Bakkar ; and they ceased 
not so doing till they were satisfied, when the table was removed 
and they washed their hands. Then the waiting-women fetched 
censers with all manner of incense, aloe-wood and ambergris and 
mixed scents; and sprinkling- flasks full of rose-water were also 
brought and they were fumigated and perfumed. After this the 
slaves set on vessels of graven gold, containing all kinds of sherbets, 
besides fruits fresh and dried, that heart can desire and eye delight 
in ; and lastly one brought a flagon of carnelion full of old wine. 
, Then Shams al-Nahar chose out ten handmaids to attend on them 
and ten singing women ; and, dismissing the rest to their apart- 
ments, bade some of those who remained strike the lute. They 
did as she bade them and one of them began to sing : 

My soul to him who smiled back my salute, o In breast reviving hopes thai 

were no mo'e : 
The hand o' Love my secrel brought to light, o And censor's tongues what lies 

my ribs below : a 
My tear-drops ever pres.s twixt me and him, As though my tear-drops show* 

ing love would flow. 

When she had finished her singing, Shams al-Nahar rose and, 
filling a goblet, drank it off, then crowned it again and handed 

it to Ali bin Bakkar; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 

day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

forfjen Ct foa* t&e f^un&rrt* an* JpiftHourtf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shams 
al-Nahar filled a goblet and handed it to Ali bin Bakkar ; after 
which she bade another damsel sing ; and she began singing these 
couplets : 

1 The Eastern heroine always has a good appetite and eats well. The sensible 
Oriental would in6nitely despise that maladive Parisienne in whom our neighbours delight,, 
and whom I long to send to the Hospital. 

2 i.e. her rivals have discovered the secrel of her heart. 

Tale of AH bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 169 

My tears thus flowing rival with my wine, o Pouring the like of what fills cup 

to brink i 1 
By Allah wot I not an run these eyne o Wi' wine, or else it is of tears I 


And when she ended her recitation, Ali bin Bakkar drained his 
cup and returned it to Shams al-Nahar. She filled it again and 
gave it to Abu al-Hasan who tossed it off. Then she took the 
lute, saying, " None shall sing over my cup save myself ; " so she 
screwed up the strings and intoned these verses : 

The tears run down his cheeks in double row, o And in his breast high flameth 

lover-lowe : 
He weeps when near, a-fearing to be far ; o And, whether far or near, his 

tear-drops flow. 

And the words of another : 

Our life to thee, O cup-boy Beauty-dight ! o From parted hair to calves ; 

from black to white : 
Sol beameth from thy hands, and from thy lips o Pleiads, and full Moon through 

thy collar's night, 2 
Good sooth the cups, which made our heads fly round, o Are those thine eyes 

pass round to daze the sight : 
No wonder lovers hail thee as full moon o Waning to them, for self e'er 

waxing bright : 
Art thou a deity to kill and quicken, o Bidding this fere, forbidding 

other wight ? 
Allah from model of thy form made Beau o -ty and the Zephyr scented 

with thy sprite. 
Thou art not of this order of human o -ity but angel lent by Heave* 

to man. 

When Ali bin Bakkar and Abu al-Hasan and those present heard 
Shams al-Nahar's song, they were like to fly for joy, and sported 
and laughed ; but while they were thus enjoying themselves lo ! 
up came a damsel, trembling for fear and said, " O my lady, the 
Commander of the Faithful's eunuchs are at the door, Afff and 
Masrur and Marjan 3 and others whom wot I not." When they 

1 i.e. blood as red as wine. 

2 The wine-cup (sun-like) shines in thy hand ; thy teeth are bright as the Pleiads 
and thy face rises like a moon from the darkness of thy dress-collar. 

3 The masculine of Marjanah (Morgiana) " the she coral-branch ;" and like this a 
name generally given to negroes. We have seen white applied to a blackamoor by way 
of metonomy and red is also connected with black skins by way of fun. A Persian verse 

" If a black wear red, e'en an ass would grin.'* 

Laylah wa Laylah. 

heard this they were like to die with fright, but Shams al-Nahar 
laughed and said, " Have no fear ! " Then quoth she to the damsel, 
" Keep answering them whilst we remove hence." And she caused 
the doors of the alcove to be closed upon Ali and Abu al-Hasan, 
and let down the curtains over the entrance (they being still 
within) ; after which she shut the door of the saloon and went out 
by the privy wicket into the flower-garden, where she seated her-! 
self on a couch she had there and made one of the damsels knead] 
her feet. 1 Then she dismissed the rest of her women to their 
rooms and bade the portress admit those who were at the door ; 
whereupon Masrur entered, he and his company of twenty with 
drawn swords. And when they saluted her, she asked, "Wherefore 
come ye ? "; whereto they answered, " The Commander of the 
Faithful saluteth thee. Indeed he is desolated for want of thy 
sight ; he letteth thee know that this be to him a day of joy and 
great gladness and he wisheth to seal his day and complete his 
pleasure with thy company at this very hour. So say, wilt go to 
him or shall he come to thee ? " Upon this she rose and, kissing 
the earth, replied, " I hear and I obey the commandment of the 
Prince of True Believers ! " Then she summoned the women 
guards of her household and other slave-damsels, who lost no time 
in attending upon her and made a show of obeying the Caliph's 
orders. And albeit everything about the place was in readiness, 
she said to the eunuchs, "Go to the Commander of the Faithful 
and tell him that I await him after a little space, that I may make 
ready for him a place with carpets and other matters." So they 
returned in haste to the Caliph, whilst Shams al-Nahar, doffing her 
outer gear, repaired to her lover, Ali bin Bakkar, and drew him to 
her bosom and bade him farewell, whereat he wept sore and said, 
" O my lady, this leave-taking will cause the ruin of my very self 
and the loss of my very soul ; but I pray Allah grant me patience 
to support the passion wherewith he hath afflicted me ! " Replied 
she, " By Allah, none shall suffer perdition save I ; for thou wilt 
fare forth to the bazar and consort with those that shall divert 
thee, and thy life will be sound and thy love hidden forsure ; but I 
shall fall into trouble and tristesse nor find any to console me, 
more by token that I have given the Caliph a tryst, wherein haply 
great peril shall betide me by reason of my love for thee and my 
longing for thee and my grief at being parted from thee. For with 

1 Suggesting that she had been sleeping. 

Tale of All bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 171 

what tongue shall I sing and with what heart shall I present my- 
self before the Caliph ? and with what speech shall I company the 
Commander of the Faithful in his cups ? and with what eyes shall 
I look upon a place where thou art absent ? and with what taste 
shall I drink wine of which thou drinkest not ? " Quoth Abu al- 
Hasan, " Be not troubled but take patience and be not remiss in 
entertaining the Commander of the Faithful this night, neither 
show him any neglect, but be of good heart." Now at this junc- 
ture, behold, up came a damsel, who said to Shams al-Nahar, " O 
my lady, the Caliph's pages are come." So she hastily rose to her 
feet and said to the maid, " Take Abu al-Hasan and his friend and 
carry them to the upper balcony 1 giving upon the garden and there 
leave them till darkness came on ; when do thou contrive to carry 
them forth. Accordingly the girl led them up to the balcony 
and, locking the door upon them both, went her way. As they sat 
looking on the garden lo ! the Caliph appeared escorted by near 
an hundred eunuchs, with drawn swords in hand and girt about 
with a score of damsels, as they were moons, all clad in the richest 
of raiment and on each one's head was a crown set with jewels and 
rubies ; while each carried a lighted flambeau. The Caliph walked 
in their midst, they encompassing him about on all sides, and 
Masrur and Afi'f and Wasff 2 went before him and he bore himself 
with a graceful gait. So Shams al-Nahar and her maidens rose to 
receive him and, meeting him at the garden-door, kissed ground 
between his hands ; nor did they cease to go before him till they 
brought him to the couch whereon he sat down, whilst all the 
waiting-women who were in the garden and the eunuchs stood 
before him and there came fair handmaids and concubines holding: 
in hand lighted candles and perfumes and incense and instruments 
of mirth and music. Then the Sovereign bade the singers sit 
down, each in her place, and Shams al-Nahar came up and, seating 
herself on a stool by the side of the Caliph's couch, began to con- 
verse with him ; all this happening whilst Abu al-Hasan and All 
bin Bakkar looked on and listened, unseen of the King. Presently 
the Caliph fell to jesting and toying with Shams al-Nahar and 

1 Arab. "Raushan," a window projecting and latticed : the word is orig. Persian: so 
Raushand (splendour) = Roxana. It appears to me that this beautiful name gains beauty 
by being understood. 

* The word means any servant, but here becomes a proper name* "Wasifah* 
usually = a concubine. 

172 .Alf Laylah wa Laylak, 

both were in the highest spirits, glad and gay, when he bade them 
throw open the garden pavilion. So they opened the doors and 
windows and lighted the tapers till the place shone in the season 
of darkness even as the day. Then the eunuchs removed thither 
the wine-service and (quoth Abu al-Hasan) "I saw drinking- 
vessels and rarities whose like mine eyes never beheld, vases of 
gold and silver and all manner of noble metals and precious stones, 
such as no power of description can describe, till indeed it seemed 
to me I was dreaming, for excess of amazement at what I saw ! " 
But as for Ali bin Bakkar, from the moment Shams al-Nahar left 
him, he lay strown on the ground for stress of love and desire ; 
and, when he revived, he fell to gazing upon these things that had 
not their like and saying to Abu al-Hasan, " O my brother, I fear 
lest the Caliph see us or come to know of our case ; but the most 
of my fear is for thee. For myself, of a truth I know that I am 
about to be lost past recourse, and the cause of my destruction is 
naught but love and longing and excess of desire and distraction, 
and disunion from my beloved after union with her ; but I beseech 
Allah to deliver us from this perilous predicament." And they 
ceased not to look out of the balcony on the Caliph who was 
taking his pleasure, till the banquet was spread before him, when 
he turned to one of the damsels and said to her, " O Ghardm, 1 let 
us hear some of thine enchanting songs." So she took the lute 
and tuning it, began singing : 

The longing of a Bedouin maid, whose folks are far away, o Who yearns after 

the willow of the Hejaz and the bay, 2 
Whose tears, when she on travellers lights, might for their water serve o And 

eke her her passion, with its heat, their bivouc-fire purvey, 
Is not more fierce nor ardent than my longing for my love, o Who deems that 

I commit a crime in loving him alway.* 

Now when Shams al-Nahar heard these verses she slipped off the 
stool whereon she sat and fell to the earth fainting and became 
insensible to the world around her ; upon which the damsels came 
and lifted her up. And when Ali Bin Bakkar saw this from the 
balcony he also slipped down senseless, and Abu al-Hasan said, 

J i.e. eagerness, desire, love-longing. 

2 Arab. "Rind," which may mean willow (oriental), bay or aloes wood : Al-Asma'i 
denies that it ever signifies myrtle. 

s These lines occur in Night cxiv : by way of variety I give (with permission) Mr. 
Payne's version (iii. 59). 

Tale of AH fan Bakkar and of Shams al-Nakar. 173 

" Verily Fate hath divided love-desire equally upon you twain ! " ! 
As he spoke lo ! in came the damsel who had led them up to the 
balcony and said to him, " O Abu al-Hasan, arise thou and thy 
friend and come down, for of a truth the world hath waxed strait 
upon us and I fear lest our case be discovered or the Caliph 
become aware of you ; unless you descend at once we are dead 
ones." Quoth he, "And how shall this youth descend with me 
seeing that he hath no strength to rise ? " Thereupon the damsel 
began sprinkling rose-water on Ali bin Bakkar till he came to his 
senses, when Abu al-Hasan lifted him up and the damsel made 
him lean upon her. So they went down from the balcony and 
walked on awhile till the damsel opened a little iron door, and 
made the two friends pass through it, and they came upon a bench 
by the Tigris' bank. Thereupon the slave-girl clapped her hands 2 
and there came up a man with a little boat to whom said she, 
" Take up these two young men and land them on the opposite 
side." So both entered the boat and, as the man rowed off with 
them and they left the garden behind them, Ali bin Bakkar looked 
back towards the Caliph's palace and the pavilion and the grounds ; 
and bade them farewell with these two couplets : 

I offered this weak hand as last farewell, * While to heart-burning fire that 

hand is guided : 
O let not this end union ! Let not this Be last provision for long road 

provided ! 

Thereupon the damsel said to the boatman, " Make haste with 
them both.'* So he plied his oars deftly (the slave-girl being still 

with them) ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawning day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

tofjett it toas tfje J^unteUr anfc Jfiftg-fiftfi Nt 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the boatman 
rowed them towards the other bank till they reached it and landed, 
whereupon she took leave of them, saying, " It were my wish not 
to abandon you, but I can go no farther than this." Then she 

1 Referring to the proverb " AI-Kliauf maksum " = fear (cowardice) is equaHy appor 
tioned : i.e. if I fear you, you fear me. 
* The fingers of the right hand are struck upon the palm of the left 

174 ^ If Laylak wa Laylah. 

turned back, whilst Ali bin Bakkar lay prostrate on the ground 
before Abu al-Hasan and by no manner of means could he rise, till 
his friend said to him, " Indeed this place is not sure and I fear 
lest we lose our lives in this very spot, by reason of the lewd 
fellows who infest it and highwaymen and men of lawlessness." 
Upon this Ali bin Bakkar arose and walked a little but could not 
continue walking. Now Abu al-Hasan had friends in that quarter ; 
so he made search for one of them, in whom he trusted, and who 
was of his intimates, and knocked at the door. The man came 
out quickly and seeing them, bade them welcome and brought 
them into his house, where he seated them and talked with them 
and asked them whence they came. Quoth Abu al-Hasan, " We 
came out but now, being obliged thereto by a person with whom 
I had dealings and who hath in his hands dirhams of mine. And 
it reached me that he designed to flee into foreign parts with my 
monies ; so I fared forth to-night in quest of him, taking with 
me for company this youth, Ali bin Bakkar ; but, when we came 
hoping to see the debtor, he hid from us and we could get no sight 
of him. Accordingly we turned back, empty-handed without a 
doit, but it was irksome to us to return home at this hour of the 
night ; so weeting not whither to go, we came to thee, well 
knowing thy kindness and wonted courtesy." u Ye are welcome 
ancJ well come ! " answered the host, and studied to do them 
honour ; so the twain abode with him the rest of their night and 
as soon as the daylight dawned, they left him and made their 
way back without aught of delay to the city. When they came 
to the house of Abu al-Hasan, he conjured his comrade to enter ; 
so they went in and lying down on the bed, slept awhile. As 
soon as they awoke, Abu al-Hasan bade his servants spread the 
house with rich carpets, saying in his mind, " Needs must I divert 
this youth and distract him from thinking of his affliction, for I 
know his case better than another." Then he called for water for 
Ali bin Bakkar who, when it was brought, rose up from his bed 
and making his ablutions, prayed the obligatory prayers which he 
had omitted for the past day and night 1 ; after which he sat down 
and began to solace himself by talking with his friend. When 
Abu al-Hasan saw this, he turned to him and said, " O my lord, it 
were fitter for thy case that thou abide with me this night, so thy 

1 There are intricate rules for ' joining " the prayers ; but this is hardly the place for a 
subject discussed in all religious treatises. (Pilgrimage iii. 239.) 

Tale of Ali bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 17$ 

breast may be broadened and the distress of love-longing that is 
upon thee be dispelled and thou make merry with us, so haply 
the fire of thy heart may thus be quenched." Ali replied, " O my 
brother, do what seemeth good to thee ; for I may not on any 
wise escape from what calamity hath befallen me ; so act as 
thou wilt." Accordingly, Abu al-Hasan arose and bade his 
servants summon some of the choicest of his friends and sent 
for singers and musicians who came ; and meanwhile he made 
ready meat and drink for them ; so they sat eating and drinking 
and making merry through the rest of the day till nightfall. 
Then they lit the candles, and the cups of friendship and good 
fellowship went round amongst them and the time passed 
pleasantly with them. Presently, a singing-woman took the lute 
and began singing : 

I've been shot by Fortune, and shaft of eye * Down struck me and parted 

from fondest friend : 
Time has proved him foe and my patience failed, * Yet I ever expected it thus 

would end. 

When Ali bin Bakkar heard her words, he fell to the earth in a 
swoon and ceased not lying in his fainting fit till day-break ; and 
Abu al-Hasan despaired of him. But, with the dawning, he came 
to himself and sought to go home ; nor could his friend hinder 
him, for fear of the issue of his affair. So he made his servants 
bring a she-mule and, mounting Ali thereon, carried him to his 
lodgings, he and one of his men. When he was safe at home; 
Abu al-Hasan thanked Allah for his deliverance from that sore 
peril and sat awhile with him, comforting him ; but Ali could 
not contain himself, for the violence of his love and longing. 
So Abu al-Hasan rose to take leave of him and return to his 

own place. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

JJofo fo&en ft foas tje $^unfcrc& anU JFfftg^fxtJ Jifg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Abu 
al-Hasan rose to take leave of him, Ali son of Bakkar exclaimed, 
" O my brother, leave me not without news." " I hear and obey," 
replied the other ; and forthwith went away and, repairing to his 
shop, opened it and sat there all day, expecting news of Shams 

176 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

al^Nahar. But none came. He passed the night in his own house 
and, when dawned the day, he walked to Ali bin Bakkar's lodging 
and went in and found him thrown on his bed, with his friends 
about him and physicians around him prescribing something or 
other, and the doctors feeling his pulse. When he saw Abu al- 
Hasan enter he smiled, and the visitor, after saluting him, enquired 
how he did and sat with him till the folk withdrew, when he said 
to him, " What plight is this ? " Quoth Ali bin Bakkar, " It was 
bruited abroad that I was ill and my comrades heard the report ; 
and I have no strength to rise and walk so as to give him the lie 
who noised abroad my sickness, but continue lying strown here a* 
thou seest. So my friends came to visit me ; say, however, O my 
brother, hast thou seen the slave-girl or heard any news of her ? " 
He replied, " I have not seen her, since the day we parted from her 
on Tigris' bank ; " and he presently added, " O my brother, beware 
thou of scandal and leave this weeping." Rejoined Ali, " O my 
brother, indeed, I have no control over myself;" and he sighed 
and began reciting : 

She gives her woman's hand a force that fails the hand of me, * And with red 

dye on wrist she gars my patience fail and flee : 
And for her hand she fears so sore what shafts her eyes discharge, * She's fain 

to clothe and guard her hand with mail-ring panoply : ! 
The leach in ignorance felt my pulse the while to him I cried, * " Sick is my 

heart, so quit my hand which hath no malady : " 
Quoth she to that fair nightly vision favoured me and fled, * " By Allah picture 

him nor add nor 'bate in least degree ! " 
Replied the Dream, " I leave him though he die of thirst," I cry, * " Stand off 

from water-pit and say why this persistency." 
Rained tear-pearls her Narcissus-eyes, and rose on cheek belit * She made my 

sherbet, and the lote with bits of hail she bit. 2 

And when his recital was ended he said, " O Abu al-Hasan, I am 
smitten with an affliction from which I deemed myself in perfect 
surety, and there is no greater ease for me than death." Replied 
he, " Be patient, haply Allah will heal thee ! " Then he went out 
from him and repairing to his shop opened it, nor had he sat long, 
when suddenly up came the handmaid who saluted him. He 

1 The hands being stained with Henna and perhaps indigo in stripes are like the ring- 
rows of chain armour. See Lane's illustration (Mod. Egypt, chapt. i.) 

2 She made rose-water of her cheeks for my drink and she bit with teeth like grains of 
hail those lips like the lotus-fruit, or jujube : Arab. "Unnab" or "Nabk," the plum of 
the Sidr or Zizyphus lotus. 

Tale of All bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 177 

returned her salam and looking at her, saw that her heart was 
palpitating and that she was in sore trouble and showed signs of 
great affliction : so he said to her, "Thou art welcome and well come ! 
How is it with Shams al-Nahar ? " She answered, " I will presently 
tell thee, but first let me know how doth Ali bin Bakkar." So he told 
her all that had passed and how his case stood, whereat she grieved 
and sighed and lamented and marvelled at his condition. Then said 
she, " My lady's case is still stranger than this ; for when you went 
away and fared homewards, I turned back, my heart beating hard on 
your account and hardly crediting your escape. On entering I found 
her lying prostrate in the pavilion, speaking not nor answering any, 
whilst the Commander of the Faithful sat by her head not knowing 
what ailed her and finding none who could make known to him 
aught of her ailment. She ceased not from her swoon till miid^ 
night, when she recovered and the Prince of the Faithful said tt> 
her, What harm hath happened to thee, O Shams al-Nahar, and 
what hath befallen thee this night? Now when she heard the 
Caliph's words she kissed his feet and said, Allah make me thy 
ransom, O Prince of True Believers ! Verily a sourness of stomach 
lighted a fire in my body, so that I lost my senses for excess of 
pain, and I know no more of my condition. Asked the Caliph, 
What hast thou eaten to-day ? ; and she answered, I broke my fast 
on something I had never tasted before. Then she feigned to be 
recovered and calling for a something of wine, drank it, and begged 
the Sovereign to resume his diversion. So he sat down again on 
his couch in the pavilion and the sitting was resumed ; but when 
she saw me, she asked me how you fared. I told her what I had 
done with you both and repeated to her the verses which Ali bin 
Bakkar had composed at parting-tide, whereat she wept secretly, 
but presently held her peace. After awhile, the Commander of 
the Faithful ordered a damsel to sing, and she began reciting : 

Life has no sweet for me since forth ye fared ; * Would Heaven I wot howr 

fare ye who forsake : 
'Twere only fit my tears were tears of blood, * Since you are weeping for 

mine absence sake. 

But when my lady heard this verse she fell back on the sofa in a 

swoon," And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 


Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Nofo fojm ( foas tfje f^unfcreD an* 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave-girl 
continued to Abu al-Hasan, " But when my lady heard this verse, 
she fell back on the sofa in a swoon, and I seized her hand and 
sprinkled rose-water on her face, till she revived, when I said to 
her: O my lady, expose not thyself and all thy palace containeth. 
By the life of thy beloved, be thou patient ! She replied : Can 
aught befal me worse than death which indeed I seek, for by Allah, 
my ease is therein ? Whilst we were thus talking, another damsel 
sang these words of the poet : 

Quoth they, " Maybe that Patience lend thee ease ! " o Quoth I, " Since fared 

he where is Patience' place ?" 
Covenant he made 'twixt me and him, to cut o The cords of Patience 

at our last embrace ! l 

And as soon as she had finished her verse Shams al-Nahar swooned 
away once more, which when the Caliph saw, he came to her in 
haste and commanded the wine to be removed and each damsel to 
return to her chamber. He abode with her the rest of the night, 
and when dawned the day, he sent for chirurgeons and leaches 
,and bade them medicine her, knowing not that her sickness 
arose from love and longing. I tarried with her till I deemed 
her in a way of recovery, and this is what kept me from thee. I 
have now left her with a number of her body-women, who were 
greatly concerned for her, when she bade me go to you two and 
bring her news of AH bin Bakkar and return to her with the 
tidings." When Abu al-Hasan heard her story, he marvelled and 
said, " By Allah, I have acquainted thee with his whole case ; so 
now return to thy mistress ; and salute her for me and diligently 
exhort her to have patience and say to her: Keep thy secret !; 
and tell her that I know all her case which is indeed hard and one 
which calleth for nice conduct," She thanked him and taking 
leave of him, returned to her mistress. So far concerning her ; 
but as regards Abu al-Hasan, he ceased not to abide in his shop 
till the end of the day, when he arose and shut it and locked it and 
betaking himself to Ali bin Bakkar's house knocked at the door. 
One of the servants came out and admitted him ; and when 
Ali saw him, he smiled and congratulated himself on his coming, 

1 Meaning^to let Patience run away like an untethered cameL 

Tale of Ali_bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Ndliar. 179 

saying, " O Abu al -Hasan, thou hast desolated me by thine 
absence this day ; for indeed my soul is pledged to thee during 
the rest of my time." Answered the other, " Leave (his talk ! 
Were thy healing at the price of my hand, I would cut it off ere 
thou couldst ask me ; and, could I ransom thee with my life, I 
had already laid it down for thee. Now this very day, Shams al- 
Nahar's handmaid hath been with me and told mVlhat what 
hindered her coming ere this was the Caliph's sojourn with her^ 
mistress ; and she acquainted me with everything which had 
betided her." And he went on to repeat to him all that the girt 
had told him of Shams al-Nahar ; at which AH bin Bakkar lamented 
sore and wept and said to him, " Allah upon thee, O my brother, 
help me in this affliction and teach me what course I shall take. 
Moreover, I beg thee of thy grace to abide with me this night, 
that I may have the solace of thy society." Abu al-Hasan agreed 
to this request, replying that he would readily night there ; so they 
talked together till even-tide darkened, when AH bin Bakkar 
groaned aloud and lamented and wept copious tears, reciting these 
couplets : 

Thine image in these eyne, a-lip thy name, _o My heart thy home; how 

couldst thou disappear? 
How sore I grieve for life which comes to end, o Nor see I boon of union far/ 

or near. 

And these the words of another : 

She split my casque of courage with eye-swords that sorely smite ; o She pierced 

my patience' ring-mail with her shape like cane-spear light : 
Patched by the musky mole on cheek was to our sight displayed o Camphor set 

round with ambergris, light dawning through the night. 1 
Her soul was sorrowed and she bit carnelion stone with pearls o Whose unions 

in a sugred tank ever to lurk unite : 2 
Restless she sighed and smote with palm the siflows that clothe her breast, o And! 

left a mark whereon I looked and ne'er beheld such sight. 
Pens, fashioned of her coral nails with ambergris for ink, o Five lines on, 

crystal page of breast did cruelly indite : 

1 i.e. her fair face shining through the black hair. "Camphor" is a favourite with 
Arab poets the Persians hate it because connected in their minds with death ; being 
used for purifying the corpse. We read in Burckhardt (Prov. 464) " Singing without 
siller is like a corpse without Hanut " this being a mixture of camphor and rose-water, 
sprinkled over the face of the dead before shrouded. Similarly Persians avoid speaking 
>of coffee, because they drink it at funerals and use tea at other times. 

8 i.e. she is angry and bites her carnelion lips with pearly teeth. 

180 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

O swordsmen armed with trusty steel ! I bid you all beware o When she on 

you bends deadly glance which fascinates the sprite : 
And guard thyself, O thou of spear ! whenas she draweth near o To tilt with 

slender quivering shape, likest the nut-brown spear. 

And when AH bin Bakkar ended his verse, he cried out with a 
great cry and fell down in a fit. Abu al-Hasan thought that his 
soul had fled his body and he ceased not from his swoon till day- 
break, when he came to himself and talked with his friend, who 
continued to sit with him till the forenoon. Then he left him and 
repaired to his shop ; and hardly had he opened it, when lo ! the 
damsel came and stood by his side. As soon as he saw her, she 
made him a sign of salutation which he returned ; and she delivered 
to him the greeting message of her mistress and asked, " How 
doth Ali bin Bakkar ? " Answered he, " O handmaid of good, ask 
me not of his case nor what he suffered! for excess of love-longing ; 
he sleepeth not by night neither resteth he by day ; wakeful ness 
wasteth him and care hath conquered him and his condition is a 
consternation to his friend." Quoth she, " My lady saluteth thee 
and him, and she hath written him a letter, for indeed she is in 
worse case than he ; and she entrusted the same to me, saying : 
Do not return save with the answer ; and do thou obey my bidding. 
Here now is the letter, so say, wilt thou wend with me to him that 
we may get his reply?" " I hear and obey," answered Abu al- 
Hasan, and locking his shop and taking with him the girl he went, 
by a way different from that whereby he came, to Ali bin Bakkar's 
house, where he left her standing at the door and walked in -- 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

Noto tofjen it toas tfje l^untorti an* JFiftj^efg&t?) Nigfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu al- 
Hasan went with the girl to the house of Ali son of Bakkar, where 
he left her standing at the door and walked in to his great joy. 
And Abu al-Hasan said to him, " The reason of my coming is that 
such an one hath sent his handmaid to thee with a letter, contain- 
ing his greeting to thee and mentioning therein that the cause of 
his not coming to thee was a matter that hath betided him. The 
girl standeth even now at the door : shall she have leave to 
enter?"; and he signed to him that it was Shams al-Nahar's slave- 
girl. Ali understood his signal and answered, " Bring her in," 

Tale of Ali bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 181 

and when he saw her, he shook for joy and signed to her, " How 
doth thy lord ? ; Allah grant him health and healing ! " " He is 
well/' answered she and pulling out the letter gave it to him. He 
took it and kissing it, opened and read it ; after which he handed 
it to Abu al- Hasan, who found these verses written therein : 

This messenger shall give my news to thee ; o Patience what while my sight 

thou canst not see : 
A lover leav'st in love's insanity, o Whose eyne abide on wake 

incessantly : 
I suffer patience-pangs in woes that none Of men can medicine ; such 

my destiny ! 
Keep cool thine eyes ; ne'er shall my heart forget, o Nor without dream of thee 

one day shall be. 
Look what befel thy wasted frame, and thence o Argue what I am doomed 

for love to dree ! 

"And afterwards 1 : Without fingers * I have written to thee, and 
without tongue I have spoken to thee * to resume my case, I have 
an eye wherefrom sleeplessness departeth not * and a heart 
whence sorrowful thought stirreth not * It is with me as though 
health I had never known * nor in sadness ever ceased to wone * 
nor spent an hour in pleasant place * but it is as if I were made* 
up of pine and of the pain of passion and chagrin * Sickness 
unceasingly troubleth # and my yearning ever redoubleth # desire 
still groweth * and longing in my heart still gloweth * I pray 
Allah to hasten our union * and dispel of my mind the con- 
fusion # And I would fain thou favour me * with some words of 
thine * that I may cheer my heart in pain and repine # More- 
over, I would have thee put on a patience lief, until Allah vouch- 
safe relief * And His peace be with thee." 3 When Ali bin Bakkar 
had read this letter he said in weak accents and feeble voice, 
" With what hand shall I write and with what tongue shall I make 
moan and lament ? Indeed she addeth sickness to my sickness 
and draweth death upon my death ! " Then he sat up and taking 

1 Arab. "Wa ba'ad ; " the formula which follows " Bismillah " In the name of 
Allah. The French translate it or sus t etc. I have noticed the legend about its having 
been first used by the eloquent Koss, Bishop of Najran. 
8 i.e. Her mind is so troubled she cannot answer for what she writest 
3 The Bui. Edit. (i. 329) and the Mac. Edit. (i. 780) give to Shams al-Nahar the 
greater part of Ali's answer, as is shown by the Calc. Edit. (230 ft seq.) and the BresJ. 
Edit. (ii. 366 et seq.). Lane mentions this (ii. 74) but in his usual perfunctory way gives 
no paginal references to the Calc. or Bresl. ; so that those who would veri/y the text may 
have the displeasure of hunting for it. 

A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

in hand ink-case and paper, wrote the following reply : " In the 
name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate I 1 Thy 
letter hath reached me, O my lady, and hath given ease to a sprite 
worn out with passion and love-longing, and hath brought healing 
to a wounded heart cankered with languishment and sickness ; for 
indeed I am become even as saith the poet : 

Straitened bosom ; reveries dispread ; o Slumberless eyelids ; body 

wearied ; 
Patience cut short ; disunion longsomest ; o Reason deranged and hearf 

whose life is fled ! 

And know that complaining is unavailing ; but it easeth him 
whom love-longing disordereth and separation destroyeth and, 
with repeating : Union, I keep myself comforted and how fine is 
the saying of the poet who said : 

Did not in love-plight joys and sorrows meet, o How would the message or the 
writ be sweet ? " 

When he had made an end of this letter, he handed it to Abu al 
Hasan, saying, " Read it and give it to the damsel." So he took it 
and read it and its words stirred his soul and its meaning wounded 
his vitals. Then he committed it to the girl, and when she took it 
AH bin Bakkar said to her, " Salute thy lady for me and acquaint 
her with my love and longing and how passion is blended with 
my flesh and my bones ; and say to her that in very deed I need a 
woman who shall snatch me from the sea of destruction and save 
me from this dilemma ; for of a truth Fortune oppresseth me with 
her vicissitudes ; and is there any helper to free me from her turpi- 

1 Arab. "Bi'smi 'llahi' r-Rahmani'r-Rahfm." This auspicatory formula was bor- 
rowed by Al-Islam not from the Jews but from the Guebre " Ba ndm-i-Yezdan bakh- 
shaishgar-i-dadar !" (in the name of Yezdan God All-generous, All-just !) The Jews 
have, " In the name of the Great God ;" and the Christians, " In the name of the 
Father, etc.*' The so-called Sir John Mandeville begins his book, In the name of God, 
Glorious and Almighty. The sentence forms the first of the Koran and heads every 
chapter except only the ninth, an exception for which recondite reasons are adduced. 
Hence even in the present day it begins all books, letters and writings in general ; and 
it would be a sign of Infidelity (i.e. non-Islamism) to omit it. The difference between 
" Rahmdn" and " Rahim" is that the former represents an accidental (compassionat- 
ing), the latter a constant quality (compassionate). Sale therefore renders it very imper- 
fectly by " In the name of the most merciful God ; " the Latinists better, " In nomine 
Dei misericordis, clementissimi (Gottwaldt in Hamza Ispahanensis) ; Mr. Badger much 
better, " In the name of God, the Pitiful, the Compassionate "-whose only fault is not 
preserving the assonance : and Maracci best, " In nomine Dei miseratoris, misericordis." 

Tale of All bin Bakkar and of Stiams al-Nakar. 

tudes?" And he wept and the damsel wept for his weeping. 
Then she took leave of him and went forth and Abu al-Hasan 
went out with her and farewelled her. So she ganged her gait 
and he returned to his shop, which he opened and sat down there, 
as was his wont ; And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 
and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jloto toftm ft toas tlje $^un&re& arfo Jpfftg^ntntJ Jfcfgfit, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Abu 
al-Hasan farewelled the slave-girl and returned to his shop 
which he opened and sat down there according to his custom ; 
but as he tarried, he found his heart oppressed and his breast 
straitened, and he was perplexed about his case. So he ceased 
not from melancholy the rest of that day and night, and on the 
morrow he betook himself to Ali bin Bakkar, with whom he sat 
till the folk withdrew, when he asked him how he did. Ali began 
to complain of desire and to descant upon the longing and dis- 
traction which possessed him, and repeated these words of the 
poet : 

Men. have 'plained of pining before my time, o Live and dead by parting 

been terrified : 
But such feelings as those which my ribs immure o 1 have never heard ofc 

nor ever espied. 

And these of another poet : 

1 have borne for thy love what -never bore * For his fair, Kays the 

"Daftone" l hightofold: 
Yet I chase not the wildlings of wold and wild o Like Kays, for madness 

is manifold. 

1 Arab. Majnun (i.e. one possessed by a Jinni) the well-known model lover of Layla, a 
fictitious personage for whom see D'Herbetot (s. v. Megnoun). She was celebrated 
by Abu Mohammed Nizam al-Din of Ganjah (ob. A.H. 597 == 1200) pop* known as 
Nizdmi, the caustic and austere poet who wrote : 

The weals of this world are the ass's meed ! 

Would Nizami were of the ass's breed. 

The series in the East begins chronologically with Yusuf and Zulaykhsi (Potiphar's wife) 
sung by Jdmi (nat. A.H. 817 = 1414) ; the next in date is Khusraw and Shirin (also 
by Nizami) ; Farhad and Shirin ; and Layla and Majnun (the Night-black maid and the 
Maniac-man) are the last. We are obliged to compare the lovers with " Romeo and 
Juliet," having no corresponding instances in modern days : the classics of Europe 
supply a host as Hero and Leander, Theagenes and Cbaricleia, etc. etc. 

184 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Thereupon quoth Abu al-Hasan, " Never did I see or hear of one 
like unto thee in thy love ! When thou sufferest all this transport 
and sickness and trouble being enamoured of one who returneth 
thy passion, how would it be with thee if she whom thou lovest 
were contrary and contumelious, and thy case were discovered 
through her perfidy ? " And All the son of Bakkar (says Abu 
al-Hasan) was pleased with my words and he relied upon them 
and he thanked me for what I had said and done. I had a friend 
(continued Abu al-Hasan), to whom I discovered my affair and 
that of All and who knew that we were intimates ; but none other 
than he was acquainted with what was betwixt us. He was wont 
to come to me and enquire how Ali did and after a little, he began 
to ask me about the damsel ; but I fenced him off, saying, " She 
invited him to her and there was between him and her as much 
as can possibly take place, and this is the end of their affair; 
but I have devised me a plan and an idea which I would submit 
to thee." Asked his friend, " And what is that ? " Answered 
Abu al-Hasan, " I am a person well known to have much dealing 
among men and women, and I fear, O my brother, lest the affair of 
these twain come to light and this lead to my death and the 
seizure of my goods and the rending of my repute and that of 
my family. Wherefore I have resolved to get together my monies 
and make ready forthright and repair to the city of Bassorah 
and there abide, till I see what cometh of their case, that none 
may know of me ; for love hath lorded over both and correspon- 
dence passeth between them. At this present their go-between 
and confidante is a slave-girl who hath till now kept their counsel, 
but 1 fear lest haply anxiety get the better of her and she dis- 
cover their secret to some one and the matter, being bruited 
abroad, might bring me to great grief and prove the cause of my 
ruin ; for I have no excuse to offer my accusers." Rejoined his 
friend, " Thou hast acquainted me with a parlous affair, from the 
like of which the wise and understanding will shrink with fear. 
Allah avert from thee the evil thou dreadest with such dread and 
save thee from the consequences thou apprehendest ! Assuredly 
thy recking is aright." So Abu al-Hasan returned to his place 
and began ordering his affairs and preparing for his travel ; nor 
had three days passed ere he made an end of his business and 
fared forth Bassorah-wards. His friend came to visit him three 
days after but finding him not, asked of him from the neighbours 
who answered, "He set out for Bassorah three days ago, for he had 

Tale of All lin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 185 

dealings with its merchants and he is gone thither to collect 
monies from his debtors; but he will soon return." The young 
man was confounded at the news and knew not whither to wend ; 
and he said in his mind, "Would I had not parted from Abu 
al-Hasan ! " Then he bethought him of some plan whereby 
he should gain access to All. bin Bakkar ; so he went to his 
lodging, and said to one of his servants, " Ask leave for me 
of thy lord that I may go in and salute him." The servant 
entered and told his master and presently returning, invited the 
man to walk in. So he entered and found Ali bin Bakkar 
thrown back on the pillow and saluted him. Ali returned his 
greeting and bade him welcome; whereupon the young man 
began to excuse himself for having held aloof from him all that 
while and added, " O my lord, between Abu al- Hasan and myself 
there was close friendship, so that I used to trust him with my 
secrets and could not sever myself from him an hour. Now it 
so chanced that I was absent three days' space on certain busi- 
ness with a company of my friends ; and, when I came back and 
went to him, I found his shop locked up ; so I asked the neigh- 
bours about him and they replied: He is gone to Bassorah. 
Now I know he had no surer friend than thou ; so, by Allah, 
tell me what thou knowest of him." When Ali bin Bakkar heard 
this, his colour changed and he was troubled and answered, "I 
never heard till this day of his departure and, if the case be as 
thou sayest, weariness is come upon me." And he began re- 
peating : 

For joys that are no more I wont to weep, o While friends and lovers stood by 

me unscattered ; 
This day when disunited me and them o Fortune, I weep lost loves and friend* 

ship shattered. 

Then he hung his head ground-wards in thought awhile and pre- 
sently raising it and looking to one of his servants, said, " Go to 
Abu al-Hasan's house and enquire anent him whether he be at home 
or journeying abroad. If they say: He is abroad ; ask whither 
he be gone." The servant went out and returning after a while 
said to his master, u When I asked for Abu al-Hasan, his people 
told me that he was gone on a journey to Bassorah ; but I saw a 
damsel standing at the door who, knowing me by sight, though I 
knew her not, said to me: Art thou not servant to Ali bin 
Bakkar ? Even so, answered I ; and she rejoined ; I bear a 

Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

(message for him from one who is the dearest of all folk to him. 
So she came with me and she is now standing at the door." Quoth 
Ali bin Bakkar, " Bring her in." The servant went out to her and 
brought her in, and the man who was with Ali looked at her and 
found her pretty. Then she advanced to the son of Bakkar and 

saluted him And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased to say her permitted say. 

fojen it foas tje ^imbrrti anto gbfxtfetj 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
slave-girl came in to Ali bin Bakkar, she advanced to him and 
saluted him and spake with him secretly ; and from time to time 
during the dialogue he exclaimed with an oath and swore that he 
had not talked and tattled of it. Then she took leave of him and 
went away. Now Abu al-Hasan's friend was a jeweller, 1 and 
when she was gone, he found a place for speech and said to Ali 
bin Bakkar, " Doubtless and assuredly the Caliph's household have 
some demand upon thee or thou hast dealings therewith ? " " Who 
told thee of this ? " asked Ali ; and the jeweller answered, " I know 
it by yonder damsel who is Shams al-Nahar's slave-girl ; for she 
came to me a while since with a note wherein was written that 
she wanted a necklace of jewels ; and I sent her a costly collar." 
But when Ali bin Bakkar heard this, he was greatly troubled, so 
that the jeweller feared to see him give up the ghost, yet after a 
while he recovered himself and said, " O my brother, I conjure thee 
by Allah to tell me truly how thou knowest her." Replied he, 
" Do not press this question upon me ; " and Ali rejoined, " Indeed^ 
I will not turn from thee till thou tell me the whole truth." Quoth 
the jeweller, " I will tell thee all, on condition that thou distrust 
me not, and that my words cause thee no restraint ; nor will I 
conceal aught from thee by way of secret but will discover to thee 
the truth of the affair, provided that thou acquaint me with the 
true state of thy case and the cause of thy sickness." Then he 
told him all that had passed from first to last between Abu 
al-Hasan and himself, adding, " I acted thus only out of friend- 

1 The jeweller of Eastern tales from Marocco to Calcutta, is almost invariably a rascal 
here we have an exception. 

Tale of AH bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 187 

ship for thee and of my desire to serve thee ;" and assured him that 
he would keep his secret and venture life and good in his service. 
So Ali in turn told him his story and added, " By Allah, O my 
brother, naught moved me to keep my case secret from thee and 
from others but my fear lest folk should lift the veils of protection 
from certain persons." Rejoined the jeweller, " And I desired not 
to foregather with thee but of the great affection I bear thee and 
my zeal for thee in every case, and my compassion for the anguish 
thy heart endureth from severance. Haply I may be a comforter 
to thee in the room of my friend, Abu al-Hasan, during the length 
of his absence : so be thou of good cheer and keep thine eyes cool 
and clear." Thereupon Ali thanked him and repeated these 
couplets : 

** An say I : Patient I can bear his faring, o My tears and sighings g ; ve my 

say the lie ; 
How can I hide these tears that course adown o This plain, my cheek, for 

friend too fain to fly?" 

Then he was silent awhile, and presently said to the jeweller 
" Knowest thou what secret the girl whispered to me ?" Answered 
he, "Not I, by Allah, O my lord!" Quoth Ali, " She fancied 
that I directed Abu al-Hasan to go to Bassorah and that I had 
devised this device to put a stop to our correspondence and con- 
sorting. I swore to her that this was on nowise so ; but she would 
not credit me and went away to her mistress, persisting in her 
injurious suspicions ; for she inclined to Abu al-Hasan and gave 
ear to his word." Answered the young jeweller, " O my brother, 
I understood as much from the girl's manner ; but I will win for 
thee thy wish, Inshallah !" Rejoined Ali bin Bakkar, "Who can 
be with me in this and how wilt thou do with her, when she shies 
and flies like a wildling of the wold ? " Cried the jeweller " By 
Allah, needs must I do my utmost to help thee and contrive to 
scrape acquaintance with her without exposure or mischief!" 
Then he asked leave to depart and Ali bin Bakkar said, " O my 
brother, mind thou keep my counsel ; " and he looked at him and 

wept. The jeweller bade him good-bye and fared forth And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her per- 
mitted say. 

188 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Nofo fo&en ft foas t&r juntos* an* >fxtj|*fir0t 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller 
bade him good-bye and fared forth not knowing what he should 
do to win for him his wishes ; and he ceased not walking, while 
over-musing the matter, till he spied a letter lying in the road. He 
took it up and looked at its direction and superscription, then read 
it and behold, it ran : " From the least worthy of lovers to the 
most worthy of beloveds." So he opened it and found these words 
written therein : 

u A messenger from thee came bringing union-hope, o But that he erred some- 
how with me the thought prevailed ; 

So I rejoiced not ; rather grew my grief still more ; Weeting my messenger 
of wits and wit had failed. 

" But afterwards : Know, O my lord ! that I ken not the reason 
why our correspondence between thee and me hath been broken 
off : but, if the cruelty arise from thy part, I will requite it with 
fidelity, and if thy love have departed, I will remain constant to 
my love of the parted, for I am with thee even as says the poet : 

Be proud; I'll crouch! Bully; I'll bear! Despise; 111 pray! o Go; I will 
come I Speak : I will hear ! Bid ; I'll obey ! " 

As he was reading lo ! up came the slave-girl, looking right and 
left, and seeing the paper in the jeweller's hand, said to him, " O 
my master, this letter is one I let fall." He made her no answer, 
but walked on, and she walked behind him, till he came to his 
house, when he entered and she after him, saying, " O my master, 
give me back this letter, for it fell from me." Thereupon he turned 
to her and said, " O handmaid of good, fear not neither grieve, for 
verily Allah the Protector loveth those who protect ; but tell me in 
truthful way thy case, as I am one who keepeth counsel. I conjure 
thee by an oath not to hide from me aught of thy lady's affairs ; 
for haply Allah shall help me to further her wishes and make easy 
by my hand that which is hard." When the slave-girl heard these 
words she said, " O my lord, indeed a secret is not lost whereof 
thou art the secretist ; nor shall any affair come to naught for 
which thou strivest. Know that my heart inclineth to thee and 
would interest thee with my tidings, but do thou give me the 
letter." Then she told him the whole story, adding, " Allah is 

Tale of All bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 

witness to whatso I say." Quoth he, " Thou hast spoken truly, for 
I am acquainted with the root of the matter." Then he told her 
his tale of Ali bin Bakkar and how he had learned his state of 
mind ; and related to her all that had passed from first to last, 
whereat she rejoiced ; and they two agreed that she should take 
the letter and carry it to Ali and return and acquaint the jeweller 
with all that happened. So he gave her the letter and she took it 
and sealed it up as it was before, saying, " My mistress Shams 
al-Nahar gave it to me sealed ; and when he hath read it and given 
me its reply, I will bring it to thee." Then she took leave and 
repaired to Ali bin Bakkar, whom she found waiting, and gave him 
the letter. He read it and writing a paper by way of reply, gave 
it to her ; and she carried it to the jeweller, who tore asunder the 
seal l and read it and found written therein these two couplets : 

** The messenger, who kept our commerce hid, o Hath failed, and showeth 
wrath without disguise ; 2 

Choose one more leal from your many friends o Who, truth approving, dis- 
approves of lies. 

To proceed : Verily, I have not entered upon perfidy * nor have 
I abandoned fidelity * I have not used cruelty * neither have I 
put off lealty * no covenant hath been broken by me * nor hath 
love-tie been severed by me * I have not parted from penitence * 
nor have I found aught but misery and ruin after severance * I 
know nothing of that thou avouchest * nor do I love aught but 
that which thou lovest * By Him who knoweth the secret of 
hidden things none discover * I have no desire save union with 
tny lover * and my one business is my passion to conceal * albeit 
with sore sickness I ail * This is the exposition of my case and 
now all hail ! " When the jeweller read this letter and learnt its 

1 This must not be understood of sealing-wax, which, however, is of ancient date. 
The Egyptians (Herod, ii. 38) used " sealing earth " (y? trg/iairpis) probably clay, 
impressed with a signet (SaKrvXtov) ; the Greeks mud-clay (TnjAos) ; and the Romans 
first cretula and then wax (Beckmann). Mediaeval Europe had bees-wax tempered 
with Venice turpentine and coloured with cinnabar or similar material. The modern 
sealing-wax, whose distinctive is shell-lac, was brought by the Dutch from India to 
Europe; and the earliest seals date from about A.D. 1560. They called it Ziegel-lak, 
whence the German Siegel-lack, the French preferring cire-a-cathetcr, as distinguished 
from cire-a-sceller^ the softer material. The use of sealing-wax in India dates from old 
times and the material, though coarse and unsightly, is still preferred by Anglo-Indians 
because it resists heat whereas the best English softens like pitch. 

8 Evidently referring to the runaway Abu al- Hasan, not to the she- Mercury. 

A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

contents he wept with sore weeping, and the slave-girl said to him, 
w Leave not this place till I return to thee ; for he suspecteth me 
of such and such things, in which he is excusable ; so it is my 
desire to bring about a meeting between thee and my mistress, 
Shams al-Nahar, howsoever I may trick you to it. For the present 
I left her prostrate, awaiting my return with the reply." Then 
she went away and the jeweller passed the night with a troubled 
mind. And when day dawned he prayed his dawn-prayer and 
sat expecting the girl's coming ; and behold, she came in to 
him rejoicing with much joy and he asked her, "What news, O 
damsel ? " She answered, " After leaving thee I went to my mis- 
tress and gave her the letter written by Ali bin Bakkar; and, when 
she read it and understood it, she was troubled and confounded ; 
but I said to her : O my lady, have no fear of your affair being 
frustrated by Abu al-Hasan's disappearance, for I have found one 
to take his place, better than he and more of worth and a good 
man to keep secrets. Then I told her what was between thyself 
and Abu al-Hasan and how thou earnest by his confidence and 
that of Ali bin Bakkar and how that note ^vas dropped and thou 
earnest by it ; and I also showed her how we arranged matters 
betwixt me and thee." The jeweller marvelled with much wonder, 
when she resumed, "And now my mistress would hear whatso 
thou sayest, that she may be assured by thy speech of the 
covenants between thee and him ; so get thee ready to go with me 
to her forthwith." When the jeweller heard the slave-girl's words, 
he saw that the proposed affair was grave and a great peril to 
brave, not lightly to be undertaken or suddenly entered upon, and 
he said to her, " O my sister, verily, I am of the ordinary and not 
like unto Abu al-Hasan ; for he being of high rank and of well- 
known repute, was wont to frequent the Caliph's household, 
because of their need of his merchandise. As for me, he used to 
talk with me and I trembled before him the while. So, if thy 
mistress would speak with me, our meeting must be in some place 
other than the Caliph's palace and far from the abode of the Com- 
mander of the Faithful ; for my common sense will not let me 
consent to what thou proposest." On this wise he refused to go 
with her and she went on to say that she would be surety for his 
safety, adding, " Take heart and fear no harm ! " and pressed him 
to courage till he consented to accompany her ; withal, his legs 
bent and shivered and his hands quivered and he exclaimed, 
" Allah forbid that I should go with thee ! Indeed, J have not 

Tale of Ali bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 191 

strength to do this thing! " Replied she, " Hearten thy heart, if 
It be hard for thee to go to the Caliph's palace and thou canst not 
muster up courage to accompany me, I will make her come to 
thee ; so budge not from thy place till I return- to thee with her." 
Then the slave-girl went away and was absent for a while, but a 
short while, after which she returned to the jeweller and said to 
him, " Take thou care that there be with thee none save thyself, 
neither man-slave nor girl-slave." Quoth he, "I have but a negress, 
who is in years and who waiteth on me." 1 So she arose and locked 
the door between his negress and the jeweller and sent his man- 
servants out of the place ; after which she fared forth and presently 
returned, followed by a lady who, entering the house, filled it with 
the sweet scent of her perfumes. When the jeweller saw her, he 
sprang up and set her a couch and a cushion ; and she sat down while 
he seated himself before her. She abode awhile without speaking 
till she had rested herself, when she unveiled her face and it 
seemed to the jeweller's fancy as if the sun had risen in his home. 
Then she asked her slave-girl, " Is this the man of whom thou 
spakest to me ? " u Yes," answered she ; whereupon the lady 
turned to the jeweller and said to him, " How is it with thee ? J> 
Replied he, " Right well ! I pray Allah for thy preservation and 
that of the Commander of the Faithful." Quoth she, " Thou hast 
moved us to come to thee and possess thee with what we hold se- 
cret." Then she questioned him of his household and family ; and 
he disclosed to her all his circumstance and his condition and said 
to her, " I have a house other than this; and I have set it apart 
for gathering together my friends and brethren ; and there is none 
there save the old negress, of whom I spoke to thy handmaid." 
She asked him on what wise he came first to know how the affair 
began and the matter of Abu al-Hasan and the cause of his way- 
faring : accordingly he told her all he knew and how he had 
advised the journey. Thereupon she bewailed the loss of Abu al- 
Hasan and said to the jeweller, " Know, O such an one, 1 that 
men's souls are active in their lusts and that men are still men ; 
and that deeds are not done without words nor is end ever reached 

1 An unmarried man is not allowed to live in a respectable quarter of a Moslem city 
unless he takes such precaution. Lane (Mod. Egypt, passim) has much to say on this 
point ; and my excellent friend the late Professor Spitta at Cairo found the native 
prejudice very troublesome. 

8 Arab. "Yd fulln " = O certain person (fulano in Span, and Port.) a somewhat 
contemptuous address. 

1 92 A If Laylah wa LaylaJi. 

without endeavour. Rest is won only by work" -- And Shah-? 
razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitte4 

Jioto fofjen it foas t&e ffymtan an& gbfatg-secontt 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shams al* 
Nahar thus addressed the jeweller, u Rest is gained only by work 
and success is gendered only by help of the generous. Now I have 
acquainted thee with our affair and it is in thy hand to expose us 
or to shield us ; I say no more, because thy generosity requireth 
naught. Thou knowest that this my handmaiden keepeth my 
counsel and therefore occupieth high place in my favour ; and I 
have selected her to transact my affairs of importance. So let 
none be worthier in thy sight than she and acquaint her with thine 
affair; and be of good cheer, for on her account thou art safe from 
all fear, and there is no place shut upon thee but she shall open it 
to thee. She shall bring thee my messages to AH bin Bakkar and 
thou shalt be our intermediary." So saying, she rose, scarcely- 
able to rise, and fared forth, the jeweller faring before her to the 
door of her house, after which he returned and sat down again in 
his place, having seen of her beauty and heard of her speech what 
dazzled him and dazed his wit, and having witnessed of her grace 
and courtesy what bewitched his sprite. He sat musing on her 
perfections till his mind waxed tranquil, when he called for food 
and ate enough to keep soul and body together. Then he changed 
his clothes and went out ; and, repairing to the house of the youth 
AH bin Bakkar, knocked at the door. The servants hastened to 
admit him and walked before him till they had brought him to 
their master, whom he found strown upon his bed. Now when he 
saw the jeweller, he said to him, " Thou hast tarried long from me, 
and that hath heaped care upon my care." Then he dismissed his 
servants and bade the doors be shut ; after which he said to the 
jeweller, "By Allah, O my brother, I have not closed my eyes 
since the day I saw thee last ; for the slave-girl came to me yester- 
day with a sealed letter from her mistress Shams al-Nahar ; " and 
went on to tell him all that had passed with her, adding, " By the 
Lord, I am indeed perplexed concerning mine affair and my 
patience faileth me : for Abu al- Hasan was a comforter who 
cheered me because he knew the slave-girl." When the jeweller 
beard his words, he laughed ; and AH said, "Why dost thou laugh 

Tale of Alt bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 193 

at my words, thou on whose coming I congratulated myself and to 
whom I looked for provision against the shifts of fortune ? " Then 
he sighed and wept and repeated these couplets : l 

Full many laugh at tears they see me shed * Who had shed tears an bore 

they what I bore ; 
None feeleth pity for th' affiicted's woe, * Save one as anxious and in woe 

galore : 
My passion, yearning, sighing, thought, repine * Are for me cornered in my 

heart's deep core : 
He made a home there which he never quits, * Yet rare our meetings, not as 

heretofore : 
No friend to stablish in his place I see; * No intimate but only he and 


Now when the jeweller heard these lines and understood their 
significance, he wept also and told him all that had passed betwixt 
himself and the slave-girl and her mistress since he left him. And 
Ali bin Bakkar gave ear to his speech, and at every word he heard 
his colour shifted from white to red and his body grew now stronger 
and then weaker till the tale came to an end, when he wept and 
said, " O my brother, I am a lost man in any case : would mine 
end were nigh, that I might be at rest from all this ! But I beg 
thee, of thy favour, to be my helper and comforter in all my affairs 
till Allah fulfil whatso be His will ; and I will not gainsay thee 
with a single word*" Quoth the jeweller, " Nothing will quench 
thy fire save union with her whom thou lovest ; and the meeting 
must be in other than this perilous place. Better it were in a 
house of mine where the girl and her mistress met me; which 
place she chose for herself, to the intent that ye twain may there 
meet and complain each to other of what you have suffered from 
the pangs of love." Quoth Ali bin Bakkar, " O good Sir, do as 
thou wilt and with Allah be thy reward ! ; and what thou deemest 
is right do it forthright : but be not long in doing it, lest I perish 
of this anguish." So I abode with him (said the jeweller) that 

night conversing with him till the morning morrowed, And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

1 Mr. Payne remarks, " These verses apparently relate to Aboulhusn, but it is possible 
that they may be meant to refer to Shemsennehar." (iii. 80.) 


A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

Jloto to&m ft toa* tfjc JQuntJreti anft Sbixtp-tljhfo Jltg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller 
continued : So I abode with him that night conversing with him 
till the morning morrowed, when I prayed the dawn-prayers and, 
going out from him, returned to my house. Hardly had I settled 
down when the damsel came up and saluted me ; and I returned 
her salutation and told her what had passed between myself and 
Ali bin Bakkar, and she said, " Know that the Caliph hath left us 
and there is no one in our place and it is safer for us and better." 
Replied I, " Sooth thou sayest ; yet is it not like my other house 
which is both fitter and surer for us ; " and the slave-girl rejoined, 
41 Be it as thou seest fit. I am now going to my lady and will tell 
her what thou sayest and acquaint her with all thou hast men- 
tioned." So she went away and sought her mistress and laid the 
project before her, and presently returned and said to me, " It is 
to be as thou sayest : so make us ready the place and expect us." 
Then she took out of her breast-pocket a purse of dinars and gave 
this message, " My lady saluteth thee and saith to theer Take 
this and provide therewith what the case requireth." But I swore 
that I would accept naught of it ; so she took the purse and 
returning to her mistress, told her, "He would not receive the 
money, but gave it back to me." " No matter," answered Shams 
al-Nahar. As soon as the slave-girl was gone (continued the 
jeweller), I arose and betook myself to my other house and trans- 
ported thither all that was needful, by way of vessels and furniture 
and rich carpets ; and I did not forget china vases and cups of 
glass and gold and silver; and I made ready meat and drink 
required for the occasion. When the damsel came and saw what 
I had done, it pleased her and she bade me fetch Ali bin Bakkar ; 
but I said, " None shall bring him save thou." Accordingly she 
went to him and brought him back perfectly dressed and looking 
his best. I met him and greeted him and then seated him upon a 
divan befitting his condition, and set before him sweet-scented 
flowers in vases of china and vari-coloured glass. 1 Then I set on 
a tray of many-tinted meats such as broaden the breast with their 

1 Arab, and Pers. "Bulur" (vulg. billaur) retaining the venerable tradition of the 
Belus-river, In Al- Hariri (Ass. of Halwan) it means crystal and there is no need of pro- 
posing to translate it by onyx or to identify it with the Greek ^puXAos, the beryl. 

Tale of AH bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 195 

sight, and sat talking with him and diverting him, whilst the slave- 
girl went away and was absent till after sundown-prayers, when 
she returned with Shams al-Nahar, attended by two maids and 
none else. Now as soon as she saw Ali bin Bakkar and he saw 
her, he rose and embraced her, and she on her side embraced him 
and both fell in a fit to the ground. They lay for a whole hour 
insensible ; then, coming to themselves, they began mutually to 
complain of the pains of separation. Thereupon they drew near 
to each other and sat talking charmingly, softly, tenderly ; after 
which they somewhat perfumed themselves and fell to thanking 
me for what I had done for them. Quoth I, " Have ye a mind for 
food ? " " Yes," quoth they. So I set before them a small matter of 
food and they ate till they were satisfied and then washed their 
hands ; after which I led them to another sitting-room and brought 
them wine. So they drank and drank deep and inclined to each 
other ; and presently Shams al-Nahar said to me, " O my master, 
complete thy kindness by bringing us a lute or other instrument of 
mirth and music that the measure of our joy may be fully filled." 
I replied, " On my head and eyes ! " and rising brought her a lute, 
which she took and tuned ; then laying it in her lap she touched 
it with a masterly touch, at once exciting to sadness and changing 
sorrow to gladness ; after which she sang these two couplets : 

"My sleeplessness would show I love to bide on wake ; o And would my lean- 
ness prove that sickness is my make : 

And tear-floods course adown the cheeks they only scald; o Would I knew 
union shall disunion overtake ! 

Then she went on to sing the choicest and most affecting poesy 
to many and various modes, till our senses were bewitched and 
the very room danced with excess of delight and surprise at her 
sweet singing ; and neither thought nor reason was left in us. 
When we had sat awhile and the cup had gone round amongst 
us, the damsel took the lute and sang to a lively measure these 
couplets : 

My love a meeting promised me and kept it faithfully, o One night as many 1 

shall count in number and degree : 
O Night of joyance Fate vouchsafed to faithful lovers tway, o Uncaring for the 

railer loon and all his company ! 
My lover lay the Night with me and dipt me with his right, o While I with 

left embraced him, a-faint for ecstasy ; 
And hugged him to my breast and sucked the sweet wine of his lips, o Full 

savouring the honey-draught the honey-man sold to me. 

A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

Whilst we were thus drowned in the sea of gladness (continued the 
jeweller) behold, there came in to us a little maid trembling and 
said, " O my lady, look how you may go away for the folk have 
found you out and have surrounded the house ; and we know not 
the cause of this !" When I heard her words, I arose startled and 
lo ! in rushed a slave-girl who cried, " Calamity hath come upon 
you." At the same moment the door was burst open and there 
rushed in upon us ten men masked in kerchiefs with hangers in 
their hands and swords by their sides, and as many more behind 
them. When I saw this, the world was straitened on me for all its 
wideness, and I looked to the door but saw no issue ; so I sprang 
from the terrace into the house of one of my neighbours and there 
hid myself. Thence I found that folk had entered my lodgings 
and were making a mighty hubbub ; and I concluded that the 
Caliph had got wind of us and had sent his Chief of the Watch to 
seize us and bring us before him. So I abode confounded and 
ceased not remaining in my place, without any possibility of 
quitting it till midnight. And presently the house-master arose, 
for he had heard me moving, and he feared with exceeding great 
fear of me ; so he came forth from his room with drawn brand in 
hand and made at me, saying, " Who is this in my house ? " Quoth 
I, " I am thy neighbour the jeweller ;" and he knew me and re- 
tired. Then he fetched a light and coming up to me, said, " O my 
brother, indeed that which hath befallen thee this night is no light 
matter to me/' I replied, " O my brother, tell me who was in 
my house and entered it breaking in my door ; for I fled to thee 
not knowing what was to do." He answered, " Of a truth the 
robbers who attacked our neighbours yesterday and slew such an 
one and took his goods, saw thee on the same day bringing furni- 
ture into this house ; so they broke in upon thee and stole thy 
goods and slew thy guests." Then we arose (pursued the jeweller), 
I and he, and repaired to my house, which we found empty without 
a stick remaining in it ; so I was confounded at the case and said 
to myself, " As for the gear I care naught about its loss, albeit I 
borrowed part of the stuff from my friends and it hath come to 
grief; yet is there is no harm in that, for they know my excuse in 
the plunder of my property and the pillage of my place. But as 
for Ali bin Bakkar and the Caliph's favourite concubine, I fear lest 
their case get bruited abroad and this cause the loss of my life." So 
I turned to my neighbour and said to him, " Thou art my brother 
and my neighbour and wilt cover my nakedness ; what then dost 

Tale of All bin Bakkar and of SJuims al-Nahar. 197 

thou advise me to do ?" The man answered, " What I counsel thee 
to do is to keep quiet and wait ; for they who entered thy house 
and took thy goods have murdered the best men of a party from 
the palace of the Caliphate and have killed not a few of the 
watchmen : the government officers and guards are now in quest 
of them on every road and haply they will hit upon them, where- 
by thy wish will come about without effort of thine." The jeweller 
hearing these words returned to his other house, that wherein he 

dwelt, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

to say her permitted say. 

Koto to&en it toas tie f^uirtfrefc anto Sbixtg^fourt!) Nt'fi&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
the jeweller heard these words he returned to his other house 
wherein he dwelt, and said to himself, " Indeed this that hath 
befallen me is what Abu al-Hasan feared and from which he 
fled to Bassorah. And now I have fallen into it." Presently 
the pillage of his pleasure-house was noised abroad among the 
folk, and they came to him from all sides and places, some 
exulting in his misfortune and others excusing him and con- 
doling with his sorrow; whilst he bewailed himself to them 
and for grief neither ate meat nor drank drink. And as he 
sat, repenting him of what he had done, behold one of his 
servants came in to him and said, "There is a person at the 
door who asketh for thee; and I know him not." The jeweller 
went forth to him and saluted him who was a stranger; and 
the man whispered to him, " I have somewhat to say between 
our two selves." Thereupon he brought him in and asked him, 
"What hast thou to tell me ?'" Quoth the man, "Come with me 
to thine other house ;" and the jeweller enquired, " Dost thou then 
know my other house ?" Replied the other, " I know all about thee 
and I know that also whereby Allah will dispel thy dolours." So I 
said to myself (continued the jeweller) " I will go with him whither 
he will ;" and went out and walked on till we came to my second 
house ; and when the man saw it he said to me, " It is without 
door or doorkeeper, and we cannot possibly sit in it ; so come thou 
with me to another place." Then the man continued passing from 
stead to stead (and I with him) till night overtook us. Yet I put 
no question to him of the matter in hand and we ceased not to 
walk on, till we reached the open country. He kept saying, " Follow 

198 A If Laylah wa Layl&k. 

me," and quickened his pace to a trot, whilst I trotted after him 
heartening my heart to go on, until we reached the river, where he 
took boat with me, and the boatman rowed us over to the other 
bank. Then he landed from the boat and I landed after him ; 
and he took my hand and led me to a street which I had never 
entered in all my days, nor do I know in what quarter it was. 
Presently the man stopped at the door of a house, and opening it 
entered and made me enter with him ; after which he locked the 
door with an iron padlock, 1 and led me along the vestibule, till he 
brought me in the presence of ten men who were as though they 
were one and the same man ; they being brothers. We saluted 
them (continued the jeweller) and they returned our greeting and 
bade us be seated ; so we sat down. Now I was like to die for 
excess of weariness ; but they brought me rose-water and sprinkled 
it on my face ; after which they gave me a sherbet to drink and set 
before me food whereof some of them ate with me. Quoth I to 
myself, " Were there aught harmful in the food, they would not eat 
with me." So I ate, and when we had washed our hands, each of 
us returned to his place. Then they asked me, " Dost thou know 
us ? " and I answered, " No ! nor in my life have I ever seen you ; 
nay, I know not even him who brought me hither." Said they, 
* Tell us thy tidings and lie not at all/' Replied I, " Know then 
that. my case is wondrous and my affair marvellous; but wot ye 
anything about me ? " They rejoined, " Yes ! it was we took thy 
goods yesternight and carried off thy friend and her who was 
singing to him." Quoth I, " Allah let down His veil over you t 
Where be my friend and she wno was singing to him ? " They 
pointed with their hands to one side and replied, " Yonder, but, by 
Allah, O our brother, the secret of their case is known to none save 
to thee, for from the time we brought the twain hither up to this 
day, we have not looked upon them nor questioned them of their 
condition, seeing them to be persons of rank and dignity. Now 
this and this only it was that hindered our killing them : so tell 
us the truth of their case and thou shalt be assured of thy safety 
and of theirs." When I heard this (continued the jeweller) I 
almost died of fright and horror, and I said to them, " Know ye, O 
my brethren, that if generosity were lost, it would not be found 
save with you ; and had I a secret which I feared to reveal, none 
but your breasts would conceal it." And I went on exaggerating 

1 The door is usually shut with a wooden bolt. 

Tale of Alt bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 199 

their praises in this fashion, till I saw that frankness and readiness 
to speak out would profit me more than concealing facts ; so I told 
them all that had betided me to the very end of the tale. When 
they heard it, they said, " And is this young man AH Bakkar-son 
and this lady Shams al-Nahar ? " I replied " Yes." Now this was 
grievous to them and they rose and made their excuses to the 
two and then they said to me, " Of what we took from thy house 
part is spent, but here is what is left of it." So speaking, they 
gave me back most of my goods and they engaged to return them 
to their places in my house, and to restore me the rest as soon as 
they could. My heart was set at ease till they split into two par- 
ties, one with me and the other against me ; and we fared forth 
from that house and such was my case. But as regards AH bin 
Bakkar and Shams al-Nahar ; they were well-nigh dying for excess 
of fear, when I went up to them and saluting them, asked, " What 
happened to the damsel and the two maids, and where be they 
gone ? "; and they answered only, " We know nothing of them/' 
Then we walked on and stinted not till we came to the river-bank 
where the barque lay ; and we all boarded it, for it was the same 
which had brought me over on the day before. The boatman 
rowed us to the other side ; but hardly had we landed and taken 
seat on the bank to rest, when a troop of horse swooped down on 
us like eagles and surrounded us on all sides and places, where- 
upon the robbers with us sprang up in haste like vultures, and the 
boat put back for them and took them in and the boatman pushed 
off into mid-stream, leaving us on the river bank, unable to move 
or to stand still. Then the chief horseman said to us, " Whence be 
ye ! " ; and we were perplexed for an answer, but I said (continued 
the jeweller), " Those ye saw with us are rogues ; we know them 
not. As for us, we are singers, and they intended taking us to 
sing for them, nor could we get free of them, save by subtlety and 
soft words ; so on this occasion they let us go, their works being 
such as you have seen." But they looked at Shams al-Nahar and 
Ali bin Bakkar and said to me, " Thou hast not spoken sooth but, 
if thy tale be true, tell us who ye are and v/hence ye are ; and what 
be your place and in what quarter you dwell." I knew not what 
to answer them, but Shams al-Nahar sprang up and approaching 
the Captain of the horsemen spoke with him privily, where- 
upon he dismounted from his steed and, setting her on horse-back, 
took the bridle and began to lead his beast. And two of his men 
did the like with the youth, Ali bin Bakkar, and it was the same 

2QO Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

with myself. The Commandant of the troop ceased not faring on 
with us, till they reached a certain part of the river bank, when he 
sang out in some barbarous jargon 1 and there came to us a 
number of men with two boats. Then the Captain embarked us 
in one of them (and he with us) whilst the rest of his men put off 
in the other, and rowed on with us till we arrived at the palace of 
the Caliphate where Shams al-Nahar landed. And all the while 
we endured the agonies of death for excess of fear, and they ceased 
not faring till they came to a place whence there was a way to our 
quarter. Here we landed and walked on, escorted by some of the 
horsemen, till we came to AH bin Bakkar's house ; and when we 
entered it, our escort took leave of us and went their way. We 
abode there, unable to stir from the place and not knowing the 
difference between morning and evening ; and in such case we 
continued till the dawn of the next day. And when it was again 
nightfall, I came to myself and saw Ali bin Bakkar and the women 
and men of his household weeping over him, for he was stretched 
out without sense or motion. Some of them came to me and 
thoroughly arousing me said, " Tell us what hath befallen our son 
and say how came he in this plight ? " Replied I, " O folk, 
hearken to me " " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 
and ceased saying her permitted say. 

tofim it toas tfce ^untaeU anfc Sixtg^fiftf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the jeweller 
answered them, " O folk, hearken to my words and give me no 
trouble and annoyance ! but be patient and he will come to and 
tell you his tale for himself." And I was hard upon them and 
made them afraid of a scandal between me and them, but as we 
were thus, behold, Ali bin Bakkar moved on his carpet-bed ; whereat 
his friends rejoiced and the stranger folk withdrew from him ; but 
his people forbade me to go away. Then they sprinkled rose-water 
on his face and he presently revived and sensed the air; whereupon 
they questioned him of his case, and he essayed to answer them 
but his tongue could not speak forthright and he signed to them 

1 Arab. "Ritdnah," from " Ratan," speaking any tongue not Arabic, the allusion 
being to foreign mercenaries, probably Turks. In later days Turkish was called 
Muwalla', a pied horse, from its mixture of languages. 

Tale of Alt bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 201 

to let me go home. So they let me go, and I went forth hardly 
crediting my escape and returned to my own house, supported by 
two men. When my people saw me thus, they rose up and set to 
shrieking and slapping their faces ; but I signed to them with my 
hand to be silent and they were silent. Then the two men went 
their way and I threw myself down on my bed, where I lay the rest 
of the night and awoke not till the forenoon, when I found my 
people gathered round me and saying, " What calamity befel thee, 
and what evil with its mischief did fell thee ? " Quoth I, " Bring 
me somewhat to drink." So they brought me drink, and I drank of 
it what I would and said to them,." What happened, happened." 
Thereupon they went away and I made my excuses to my friends, 
and asked if any of the goods that had been stolen from my other 
house had been returned. They answered, " Yes ! some of them 
have come back ; by token that a man entered and threw them 
down within the doorway and we saw him not." So I comforted 
myself and abode in my place two days, unable to rise and leave 
it ; and presently I took courage and went to the bath, for I was 
worn out with fatigue and troubled in mind for AH bin Bakkar 
and Shams al-Nahar, because I had no news of them all this time 
and could neither get to Ali's house nor, out of fear for my life, 
take my rest in mine own. And I repented to Almighty Allah of 
what I had done and praised Him for my safety. Presently my 
fancy suggested to me to go to such and such a place and see the 
folk and solace myself ; so I went on foot to the cloth-market and 
sat awhile with a friend of mine there. When I rose to go, I saw 
a woman standing over against me ; so I looked at her, and lo ! it 
was Shams al-Nahar's slave-girl. When I saw her, the world grew 
dark in my eyes and I hurried on. She followed me, but I was 
seized with affright and fled from her, and whenever I looked at 
her, a trembling came upon me whilst she pursued me, saying, 
61 Stop, that I may tell thee somewhat ! " But I heeded her not 
and never ceased walking till I reached a mosque, and she entered 
after me. I prayed a two-bow prayer, after which I turned to her 
and, sighing, said, " What dost thou want ? " She asked me how 
I did, and I told her all that had befallen myself and Ali bin 
Bakkar and besought her for news of herself. She answered, 
" Know that when I saw the robbers break open thy door and 
rush in, I was in sore terror, for I doubted not but that they 
were the Caliph's officers and would seize me and my mistress and 
we should perish forthwith : so we fled over the roofs, I and the 

2O2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

maids ; and, casting ourselves down from a high place, came upon 
some people with whom we took refuge ; and they received us and 
brought us to the palace of the Caliphate, where we arrived in the 
sorriest of plights. We concealed our case and abode on coals of 
fire till nightfall, when I opened the river-gate and, calling the 
boatman who had carried us the night before, said to him ; I 
know not what is become of my mistress ; so take me in the boat, 
that we may go seek her 'on the river: haply I shall chance on 
some news of her. Accordingly he took me into the boat and went 
about with me and ceased not wending till midnight, when I spied 
a barque making towards the water gate, with one man rowing and 
another standing up and a woman lying prostrate between them 
twain. And they rowed on till they reached the shore when the 
woman landed, and I looked at her, and behold, it was Shams 
al-Nahar, Thereupon I got out and joined her, dazed for joy to 

see her after having lost all hopes of finding her alive." And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

jloto tofjen ft toaa tfje f^untortr antt Sbi 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave- 
girl went on telling the jeweller, " I was dazed for joy to see her, 
after having lost all hopes of finding her alive. When I came up 
to her, she bade me give the man who had brought her thither 
a thousand gold pieces ; and we carried her in, I and the two 
maids, and laid her on her bed ; where she passed that night 
in a sorely troubled state ; and, when morning dawned, I forbade 
the women and eunuchs to go in to her, or even to draw near her 
for the whole of that day ; but on the next she revived and some- 
what recovered and I found her as if she had come out of her 
grave. I sprinkled rose-water upon her face and changed her 
clothes and washed her hands and feet ; nor did I cease to coax 
her, till I brought her to eat a little and drink some wine, though 
she had no mind to any such matter. As soon as she had 
breathed the fresh air and strength began to return to her, I took 
to upbraiding her, saying : O my lady, consider and have pity on 
thyself; thou seest what hath betided us : surely, enough and more 
than enough of evil hath befallen thee ; for indeed thou hast been 
nigh up^n death. She said : By Allah, O good damsel, in sooth 

Tale of Ali bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 203 

death were easier to me than what hath betided me ; for it seemed 
as though I should be slain and no power could save me. When 
the robbers took us from the jeweller's house they asked me, 
Who mayst thou be ? and hearing my answer : I am a singing 
girl, they believed me. Then they turned to Ali bin Bakkar and 
made enquiries about him : And who art thou and what is thy 
condition ? ; whereto he replied : I am of the common kind. 
So they took us and carried us along, without our resisting, to 
their abode ; and we hurried on with them for excess of fear ; 
but when they had us set down with them in the house, they 
looked hard at me and seeing the clothes I wore and my neck- 
laces and jewellery, believed not my account of myself and said 
to me : Of a truth these necklaces belong to no singing-girl ; 
so be soothfast and tell us the truth of thy case. I returned 
them no answer whatever, saying in my mind : Now will they 
slay me for the sake of my apparel and ornaments ; and I spoke 
not a word. Then the villains turned to Ali bin Bakkar, asking : 
And thou, who art thou and whence art thou ? for thy semblance 
seemeth not as that of the common kind. But he was silent and 
we ceased not to keep our counsel and to weep, till Allah softened 
the rogues' hearts to pity and they said to us : Who is the owner 
of the house wherein ye were ? We answered : Such an one, 
the jeweller ; whereupon quoth one of them : I know him right 
well and I wot the other house where he liveth and I will engage 
to bring him to you this very hour. Then they agreed to set 
me in a place by myself and Ali bin Bakkar in a place by 
himself, and said to us : Be at rest ye twain and fear not lest 
your secret be divulged ; ye are safe from us. Meanwhile their 
comrade went away and returned with the jeweller, who made 
known to them our case, and we joined company with him ; after 
which a man of the band fetched a barque, wherein they embarked 
us all three and, rowing us over the river, landed us with scant 
ceremony on the opposite bank and went their ways. There- 
upon up came a horse-patrol and asked us who we were ; so 
I spoke with the Captain of the watch and said to him : I am 
Shams al-Nahar, the Caliph's favourite ; I had drunken strong 
wine and went out to visit certain of my acquaintance of the 
wives of the Wazirs, when yonder rogues came upon me and 
laid hold of me and brought me to this place ; but when they 
saw you, they fled as fast as they could. I met these men with 
them ; so do thou escort me and them to a place of safety and 

2O4 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

I will requite thee as I am well able to do. When the Captain 
of the watch heard my speech, he knew me and alighting, 
mounted me on his horse ; and in like manner did two of his 
men with Ali bin Bakkar. So I spoke to her (continued the 
handmaid) and blamed her doings, and bade her beware, and 
said to her : O my lady, have some care for thy life ! But she 
was angered at my words and cried out at me ; accordingly I 
left her and came forth in quest of thee, but found thee not and 
dared not go to the house of Ali bin Bakkar ; so stood watching 
for thee, that I might ask thee of him and wot how it goes 
with him. And I pray thee, of thy favour, to take of me some 
money, for thou hast doubtless borrowed from thy friends part 
of the gear and as it is lost, it behoveth thee to make it good 
with folk." I replied, " To hear is to obey ! go on ;" and I walked 
with her till we drew near my house, when she said to me, 

" Wait here till I come back to thee." And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

fojen ft foas t&t f^untrceD an* Sbtxtg^cbentJ tNffo|)t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that after the 
slave-girl had addressed the jeweller, " Wait here till I come 
back to thee ! " she went away and presently returned with the 
money, which she put (continued the jeweller) into my hand, 
saying, "O my master, in what place shall we meet?" Quoth I, 
" I will start and go to my house at once and suffer hard things 
for thy sake and contrive how thou mayst win access to him, for 
such access is difficult at this present." Said she, " Let me know 
some spot, where I shall come to thee," and I answered, " In my 
other house ; I will go thither forthright and have the doors 
mended and the place made safe again, and henceforth we will 
meet there." Then she took leave of me and went her way, whilst 
I carried the money home, and counting it, found it five thousand 
dinars. So I gave my people some of it and to all who had lent 
me aught I made good their loss, after which I arose and took my 
servants and repaired to my other house whence the things had 
been stolen ; and I brought builders and carpenters and masons 
who restored it to its former state. Moreover, I placed my 
negress-slave there and forgot the mishaps which had befallen 
me. Then I fared forth and repaired to Ali bin Bakkar's house 

Tale of AH bin Bakkar and of Shams al- Nafta*. 205 

and, when I reached it, his slave-servants accosted me, saying, 
" Our lord calleth for thee night and day, and hath promised to 
free whichever of us bringeth thee to him ; so they have been 
wandering about in quest of thee everywhere but knew not in what 
part to find thee. Our master is by way of recovering strength, but 
at times he reviveth and at times he relapseth ; and whenever he 
reviveth he nameth thee, and saith : Needs must ye bring him to 
me, though but for the twinkling of an eye ; and then he sinketh 
back into his torpor," Accordingly (continued the jeweller) I 
accompanied the slave and went in to AH bin Bakkar ; and, find- 
ing him unable to speak, sat down at his head, whereupon he 
opened his eyes and seeing me, wept and said, " Welcome and 
well come ! " I raised him and making him sit up, strained him 
to my bosom, antf he said, " Know, O my brother, that, from the 
hour I took to my bed, I have not sat up till now : praise to Allah 
that I see thee again ! " And I ceased not to prop him and support 
him until I made him stand on his feet and walk a few steps, after 
which I changed his clothes and he drank some wine : but all this 
he did for my satisfaction. Then, seeing him somewhat restored, 
I told him what had befallen me with the slave-girl (none else 
hearing me), and said to him, " Take heart and be of good courage, 
I know what thou sufferest." He smiled and I added, " Verily 
nothing shall betide thee save what shall rejoice thee and medicine 
thee." Thereupon he called for food, which being brought, he 
signed to his pages, and they withdrew. Then quoth he to me, 
" O my brother, hast thou seen what hath befallen me ? " ; and he 
made excuses to me and asked how I had fared all that while. 
I told him everything that had befallen me, from beginning to 
end, whereat he wondered and calling his servants, said, " Bring 
me such and such things.' 1 They brought in fine carpets and 
hangings and, besides that, vessels of gold and silver, more than 
I had lost, and he gave them all to me ; so I sent them to my 
house and abode with him that night. When the day began to 
yellow, he said to me, " Know thou that as to all things there is an 
end, so the end of love is either death "or accomplishment of desire. 
I am nearer unto death, would I had died ere this befel ! ; and had 
not Allah favoured us, we had been found out and put to shame. 
And now I know not what shall deliver me from this my strait, 
and were it not that I fear Allah, I would hasten my own death ; 
for know, O my brother, that I am like bird in cage and that my 
life is of a surety perished, choked by the distresses which have 

206 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

befallen me ; yet hath it a period stablished firm and an appointed 
term." And he wept and groaned and began repeating : 

Enough of tears hath shed the lover- wight, o When grief outcast all patience 

from his sprite : 
He hid the secrets which united us, o But now His eye parts what He 

did unite ! 

When he had finished his verses, the jeweller said to him, " O my 
lord, I now intend returning to my house." He answered, " There 
be no harm in that ; go and come back to me with news as fast as 
possible, for thou seest my case." So I took leave of him (con- 
tinued the jeweller) and went home, and hardly had I sat down, 
when up came the damsel, choked with long weeping. I asked, 
" What is the matter " ? ; and she answered, " O my lord, know 
then that what we feared hath befallen us ; for, when I left thee 
yesterday and returned to my lady, I found her in a fury with one 
of the two maids t who were with us the other night, and she ordered 
her to be beaten. The girl was frightened and ran away ; but, as 
she was leaving the house, one of the door-porters and guards of 
the gate met her and took her up and would have sent her back 
to her mistress. However, she let fall some hints, which were a 
disclosure to him ; so he cajoled her and led her on to talk, and 
she tattled about our case and let him know of all our doings. 
This affair came to the ears of the Caliph, who bade remove my 
mistress, Shams al-Nahar, and all her gear to the palace of the 
Caliphate ; and set over her a guard of twenty eunuchs. Since 
then to the present hour he hath not visited her nor hath given 
her to know the reason of his action, but I suspect this to be the 
cause; wherefore I am in fear for my life and am sore troubled, O 
my lord, knowing not what I shall do, nor with what contrivance 
I shall order my affair and hers ; for she hath none by her more 

trusted or more trustworthy than myself." And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jiofo fo&en it foa* t&e ^unfcreti ant) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the slave- 
girl thus addressed the jeweller, "And in very sooth my lady hath 
none by .her more trusted or more trustworthy in matter of secrecy 
than myself. So go thou, O my master, and speed Ihee without 
delay to Ali bin Bakkar ; and acquaint him with this, that he may ; 

Tale of AH bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 2p/ 

be on his guard and ward ; and, if the affair be discovered, we' 
cast about for some means whereby to save our lives.'* On this 
(continued the jeweller), I was seized with sore trouble and the 
world grew dark in my sight for the slave-girl's words ; and when 
she was about to wend, I said to her, " What reckest thou and what 
is to be done ? " Quoth she, " My counsel is that thou hasten to 
Ali bin Bakkar, if thou be indeed his friend and desire to save 
him ; thine be it to carry him this news at once without aught of 
stay and delay, or regard for far and near ; and mine be it to sniff 
about for further news." Then she took her leave of me and went 
away : so I rose and followed her track and, betaking myself to 
AH bin Bakkar, found him flattering himself with impossible ex- 
pectations. When he saw me returning to him so soon, he said, 
" I see thou hast come back to me forthwith and only too soon." 
I answered, "Patience, and cut short this foolish connection and 
shake off the pre-occupation wherein thou art, for there hath be- 
fallen that which may bring about the loss of thy life and good.'* 
Now when he heard this, he was troubled and strongly moved ; and 
he said to me, " O my brother, tell me what hath happened." 
Replied I, " O my lord, know that such and such things have 
happened and thou art lost without recourse, if thou abide in this 
thy house till the end of the day." At this, he was confounded 
and his soul well-nigh departed his body, but he recovered himself 
and said to me, " What shall I do, O my brother, and what counsel 
hast thou to offer." Answered I, " My advice is that thou take 
what thou canst of thy property and whom of thy slaves thou 
trustest, and flee with us to a land other than this, ere this very day 
come to an end." And he said, " I hear and I obey." So he rose, 
confused and dazed like one in epilepsy, now walking and now 
falling, and took what came under his hand. Then . he made an 
excuse to his household and gave them his last injunctions, after 
which he loaded three camels and mounted his beast ; and I did 
likewise. We went forth privily in disguise and fared on and ceased 
not our wayfare the rest of that day and all its night, till nigh upon 
morning, when we unloaded and, hobbling our camels, lay down to 
sleep. But we were worn with fatigue and we neglected to keep 
watch, so that there fell upon us robbers, who stripped us of all we 
had and slew our slaves, when these would have beaten them off, 
leaving us naked and in the sorriest of plights, after they had taken 
our money and lifted our beasts and disappeared. As soon as they 
were gone, we arose and walked on till morning dawned, when we 
came to a village which we entered, and finding a mosque took 

208 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

refuge therein for we were naked. So we sat in a corner all that 
day and we passed the next night without meat or drink ; and 
at day-break we prayed our dawn-prayer and sat down again. 
Presently behold, a man entered and saluting us prayed a two- 
bow prayer, after which he turned to us and said, " O folk, are 
ye strangers ? " We replied, " Yes : the bandits waylaid us and 
stripped us naked, and we came to this town but know none here 
with whom we may shelter." Quoth he, " What say ye ? will you 
come home with me ? " And (pursued the jeweller) I said to Ali 
bin Bakkar, " Up and let us go with him, and we shall escape two 
evils ; the first, our fear lest some one who knoweth us enter this 
mosque and recognise us, so that we come to disgrace ; and the 
second, that we are strangers and have no place wherein to 
lodge." And he answered helplessly, " As thou wilt." Then 
the man said to us again, " O ye poor folk, give ear unto me 
and come with me to my place," and I replied, " Hearkening and 
obedience;" whereupon he pulled off a part of his own clothes and 
covered us therewith and made his excuses to us and spoke kindly 
to us. Then we arose and accompanied him to his house and he 
knocked at the door, whereupon a little slave-boy came out and 
opened to us. The host entered and we followed him ; * when he 
called for a bundle of clothes and muslins for turbands, and gave 
us each a suit and a piece ; so we dressed and turbanded ourselves 
and sat us down. Presently, in came a damsel with a tray of 
food and set it before us, saying, "Eat." We ate some small 
matter and she took away the tray : after which we abode with our 
host till nightfall, when Ali bin Bakkar sighed and said to me, 
" Know, O my brother, that I am a dying man past hope of life 
and I would charge thee with a charge : it is that, when thou seest 
me dead, thou go to my parent 2 and tell her of my decease and bid 
her come hither that she may be here to receive the visits of con- 
dolence and be present at the washing of my corpse ; and do thou 
exhort her to bear my loss with patience." Then he fell down in 
a fainting fit and, when he recovered he heard a damsel singing 
afar off and making verses as she sang. Thereupon he addressed 
himself to give ear to her and hearken to her voice ; and now he 
was insensible, absent from the world, and now he came to himself; 
and anon he wept for grief and mourning at the love which had 

1 This is the rule ; to guard against the giut-aptns* 

9 Arab. Walidati," used when speaking to one not of the family in lieu of the familiar 
Ummi " = my mother. So the father as Walid= the begetter. 

Tale of All bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 209 

befallen him. Presently, he heard the damsel who was singing 
repeat these couplets : 

Parting ran up to part from lover-twain o Free converse, perfect concord, 

friendship fain : 
The Nights with shifting drifted us apart, o Would heaven I wot if we shall 

meet again : 
How bitter after meeting 'tis to part, o May lovers ne'er endure so bitter 

Death -grip, death-choke, lasts for an hour and ends, o But parting-tortures aye 

in heart remain : 
Could we but trace where Parting's house is placed, o We would make Parting 

eke of parting taste ! 

When Ali son of Bakkar heard the damsel's song, he sobbed one 
sob and his soul quitted his body. As soon as I saw that he was 
dead (continued the jeweller), I committed his corpse to the care 
of the house-master and said to him " Know thou, that I am going 
to Baghdad, to tell his mother and kinsfolk, that they may come 
hither and conduct his burial." So I betook myself to Baghdad 
and, going to my house, changed my clothes ; after which I 
repaired to Ali bin Bakkar's lodging. Now when his servants 
saw me, they came to me and questioned me of him, and I bade 
them ask permission for me to go in to his mother. She gave 
me leave ; so I entered and saluting her, said, " Verily Allah 
ordereth the lives of all creatures by His commandment and 
when He decreeth aught, there is no escaping its fulfilment ; nor 
can any soul depart but by leave of Allah, according to the Writ 
which affirmeth the appointed term." 1 She guessed by these 
words that her son was dead and wept with sore weeping, then 
she said to me, " Allah upon thee ! tell me, is my son dead ? " I 
could not answer her for tears and excess of grief, and when she 
saw me thus, she was choked with weeping and fell to the ground 
in a fit. As soon as she came to herself she said to me, " Tell me 
how it was with my son." I replied, "May Allah abundantly 
compensate thee for his loss ! " and I told her all that had befallen 
him from beginning to end. She then asked, "Did he give thee 
any charge ? " ; and I answered, " Yes," and told her what he had 
said, adding, " Hasten to perform his funeral." When she heard 
these words, she swooned away again ; and, when she recovered, 

1 This is one of the many euphemistic formulae for such occasions: they usually begin 
' May thy head live," etc. 

2io A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

she addressed herself to do as I charged her. Then I returned to 
my house ; and as I went along musing sadly upon the fair gifts 

of his youth, behold, a woman caught hold of my hand ; And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per- 
mitted say. 

Jiofo fofjen ft foas tjc f^unlireli an& gbixt^mntf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the 
jeweller thus continued : A woman caught hold of my hand ; and 
I looked at her and lo ! it was the slave-girl who used to come 
from Shams al-Nahar, and she seemed broken by grief. When we 
knew each other we both wept and ceased not weeping till we 
reached my house, and I said to her, " Knowest thou the news of 
the youth, AH bin Bakkar ? " She replied, " No, by Allah ! " ; so 
I told her the manner of his death and all that had passed, whilst 
we both wept ; after which quoth I to her, " How is it with thy 
mistress?" Quoth she, "The Commander of the Faithful would 
not hear a single word against her ; but, for the great love he bore 
her, saw all her actions in a favourable light, and said to her : O 
Shams al-Nahar, thou art dear to me and I will bear with thee 
and bring the noses of thy foes to the grindstone. Then he bade 
them fiirnish her an apartment decorated with gold and a hand- 
some sleeping-chamber, and she abode with him in all ease of life 
'and high favour. Now it came to pass that one day, as he sat at 
wine according to his custom, with his favourite concubines in 
presence, he bade them be seated in their several ranks and made 
Shams al-Nahar sit by his side. But her patience had failed and 
her disorder had redoubled upon her. Then he bade one of the 
damsels sing : so she took a lute and tuning it struck the chords, 
and began to sing these verses : 

One craved my love and I gave all he craved of me, And tears on cheek 

betray how 'twas I came to yield : 
Tear-drops, meseemeth, are, familiar with our case, o Revealing what I hide, 

hiding what I revealed : 
How can I hope in secret to conceal my love, o Which stress of passion 

ever showeth unconcealed : 
Death, since I lost my lover, is grown sweet to me ; o Would I knew what 

their joys when I shall quit the field ! 

Now when Shams al-Nahar heard these verses sung by the slave-; 

Tale of Alt bin Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. 211 

girl, she could not keep her seat ; but fell down in a fainting-fit 
whereupon the Caliph cast the cup from his hand and drew her to 
him crying out ; and the damsels also cried out, and the Prince of 
True Believers turned her over and shook her, and lo and behold ! 
she was dead. The Caliph grieved over her death with sore grief 
and bade break all the vessels and dulcimers l and other instru- 
ments of mirth and music which were in the room ; then carrying 
her body to his closet, he abode with her the rest of the night. 
When the day broke, he laid her out and commanded to wash her 
and shroud her and bury her. And he mourned for her with 
sore mourning, and questioned not of her case nor of what 
caused her condition. And I beg thee in Allah's name (con- 
tinued the damsel) to let me know the day of the coming of 
Ali bin Bakkar's funeral procession that I may be present at 
his burial." Quoth I, "For myself, where thou wilt thou canst 
find me ; but thou, where art thou to be found, and who carv 
come at thee where thou art?" She replied, "On the day of 
Shams al-Nahar's death, the Commander of the Faithful freed 
all her women, myself among the rest ; 2 and I am one of those 
now abiding at the tomb in such a place." So I rose and ac- 
companied her to the burial-ground and piously visited Shams 
al-Nahar's tomb; after which I went my way and ceased not 
to await the coming of Ali bin Bakkar's funeral. When it 
arrived, the people of Baghdad went forth to meet it and I 
went forth with them; and I saw the damsel among the women 
and she the loudest of them in lamentation, crying out and 
wailing with a voice that rent the vitals and made the heart 
ache. Never was seen in Baghdad a finer funeral than his; 
and we ceased not to follow in crowds till we reached the! 
cemetery and buried him to the mercy of Almighty Allah ; nor 
from that time to this have I ceased to visit the tombs of Ali 
son of Bakkar and of Shams al-Nahar. This, then, is their 
story, and Allah Almighty have mercy upon them I" 3 And yet 

1 Arab. "Kanun" Gr. Kavwv* an instrument not unlike the Austrian zither; it is 
illustrated in Lane (ii. 77). 

2 This is often done, the merit of the act being transferred to the soul of the deceased. 

8 The two amourists were martyrs ; and their amours, which appear exaggerated to 
the Western mind, have many parallels in the East. The story is a hopeless affair 
of love ; with only one moral (if any be wanted) viz. , there may be too much of a 
good thing. It is given very concisely in the Bui. Edit. vol. i. ; and more fully in- 
the Mac. Edit, aided in places by the Bresl. (ii. 320) and the Calc. (ii. 230). 

212 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

is not their tale (continued Shahrazad) more wonderful than 
that of King Shahriman. The King asked her "And what was 

his tale ?" And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased sayfng her permitted say. 

fo&m (t foas tf)e f^untoU antj &cbtntittb 
She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, as regards the 


THAT there was in times of yore and in ages long gone before 
a King called Shahrimdn, 1 who was lord of many troops and 
guards, and officers, and who reigned over certain islands, 
known as the Khdliddn Islands, 2 on the borders of the land of 
the Persians. But he was stricken in years and his bones were 
wasted, without having been blessed with a son, albeit he had 
four wives, daughters of Kings, and threescore concubines, with 
each of whom he was wont to lie one night in turn. 5 This 

1 Lane is in error (vol. ii. 78) when he corrects this to "Shah Zeman" ; the name 
As fanciful and intended to be old Persian, on the "weight" of Kahraman. The Bui. 
Edit, has by misprint *' Shahraman." 

2 The * topothesia " is worthy of Shakespeare's day. " Khalidan " is evidently a 
corruption of " Khdlidatdni" (for Khalidat), the Eternal, as Ibn Wardi calls the For- 
tunate Islands, or Canaries, which owe both their modern names to the classics of 
Europe. Their present history dates from A.D. 1385, unless we accept the Dieppe- 
Rouen legend of Labat which would place the discovery in A.D. 1326. I for one 
thoroughly believe in the priority, on the West African Ccast, of the gallant des- 
cendants of the Northmen. 

8 Four wives are allowed by Moslem law and for this reason. If you marry one 
wife she holds herself your equal, answers you and "gives herself airs "; two are 
always quarrelling and making a hell of the house; three are "no company" and 
two of them always combine against the nicest to make her hours bitter. Four are 
company; they can quarrel and "make it up" amongst themselves, and the husband 
enjoys comparative peace. But the Moslem is bound by his law to deal equally with 
the four; each must have her dresses, her establishment and her night, like her sister 
wives. The number is taken from the Jews (Arbah Turim Ev. Hazaer, i.) " the wise 
men have given good advice that a man should not marry more than four wives." 
Europeans, knowing that Moslem women are cloistered and appear veiled in public, 
begin with believing them to be mere articles of luxury ; and only after long residence 
they find out that nowhere has the sex so much real liberty and power as in the Moslem. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zamatt. 213 

preyed upon his mind and disquieted him, so that he com- 
plained thereof to one of his Wazirs, saying, " Verily I fear lest 
my kingdom be lost when I die, for that I have no son to 
succeed me." The Minister answered, " O King, peradventure 
Allah shall yet bring something to pass; so rely upon the Al- 
mighty and be instant in prayer. It is also my counsel that 
thou spread a banquet and invite to it the poor and needy, and 
let them eat of thy food ; and supplicate the Lord to vouchsafe 
thee a son; for perchance there may be among thy guests a 
righteous soul whose prayers find acceptance ; and thereby thou 
shalt win thy wish." So the King rose, made the lesser ablu- 
tion, and prayed a two-bow prayer, 1 then he cried upon Allah 
with pure intention ; after which he called his chief wife to bed 
and lay with her forthright. By grace of God she conceived 
and, when her months were accomplished, she bore a male 
child, like the moon on the night of fulness. The King named 
him Kamar al-Zaman, 2 and rejoiced in him with extreme joy 
and bade the city be dressed out in his honour ; so they deco- 
rated the streets seven days, whilst the drums beat and the 
messengers bore the glad tidings abroad. Then wet and dry 
nurses were provided for the boy and he was reared in splendour 
and delight, until he reached the age of fifteen. He grew up- 
of surpassing beauty and seemlihead and symmetry, and his 
father loved him so dear that he could not brook to be parted 
from him day or night. One day he complained to a certain 
of his Ministers anent the excess of his love for his only child, 
saying, " O thou the Wazir, of a truth I fear for my son, Kamar 
al-Zaman, the shifts and accidents which befal man and fain 
would I marry him in my life-time." Answered the Wazir, "O 
King, know thou that marriage is one of the most honourable 

East. They can possess property and will it away without the husband's leave: they 
can absent themselves from the house for a month without his having a right to complain ; 
and they assist in all his counsels for the best of reasons : a man can rely only on his 
wives and children, being surrounded by rivals who hope to rise by his ruin. As regards 
political matters the Circassian women of Constantinople really rule the Sultanate and 
there soignez lafemme! is the .first lesson of getting on in the official world. 

1 This two-bow prayer is common on the bride-night ; and at all times when issue is 

2 The older Camaralzamanrr "Moon of the age." Kamar is the moon between her 
third and twenty-sixth day: Hilal during the rest of the month: Badr.(plur. Budur, 
whence the name of the Princess) is the full moon. 

214 Alf Laylak iva Laylah. 

of moral actions, and thou wouldst indeed do well and right to 
marry thy son in thy lifetime, ere thou make him Sultan." On 
this quoth the King, " Hither with my son Kamar al-Zaman ;" 
so he came and bowed his head to the ground in modesty 
before his sire. "O Kamar al-Zaman," said King Shahriman,"of 
a truth I desire to marry thee and rejoice in thee during my 
lifetime." Replied he, " O my father, know that I have no lust 
to marry nor doth my soul incline to women ; for that concern- 
ing their craft and perfidy I have read many books and heard 
much talk, even as saith the poet : 

Now, an of women ask ye, I reply : o In their affairs I'm versed a doctor 

rare ! 
When man's head grizzles and his money dwindles, o In their affections he hath 

naught for share. 

And another said : 

Rebel against women and so shalt thou serve Allah the more ; o The youth 

who gives women the rein must forfeit all hope to soar. 
They'll baulk him when seeking the strange device, Excelsior, o Tho* waste 

he a thousand of years in the study of science and lore. 

And when he had ended his verses he continued, " O my father, 
wedlock is a thing whereto I will never consent ; no, not though 
L drink the cup of death." When Sultan Shahriman heard these 
words from his son, light became darkness in his sight and he 

grieved thereat with great grief. And Shahrazad perceived the. 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Koto tof)n it toas tfie f^untKEfc anfr gjebent^fim 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King 
Shahriman heard these words from his son, the light became dark- 
ness in his sight and he grieved over his son's lack of obedience 
to his directions in the matter of marriage ; yet, for the great love 
he bore him, he was unwilling to repeat his wishes and was 
not wroth with him, but caressed him and spake him fair and 
showed him all manner of kindness such as tendeth to induce 
affection. All this, and Kamar al-Zaman increased daily in beauty 
and loveliness and amorous grace ; and the King bore with him 
for a whole year till he became perfect in eloquence and elegant 
wit. All men were ravished with his charms ; and every breeze 

Tale of Kamar al-Zamait. 

that blew bore the tidings of his gracious favour ; his fair sight, 
was a seduction to the loving and a garden of delight to the 
longing, for he was honey-sweet of speech and the sheen of his 
face shamed the full moon ; he was a model of symmetry and 
blandishment and engaging ways ; his shape was as the willow- 
wand or the rattan-cane and his cheeks might take the place 
of rose or red anemone. He was, in fine the pink of perfection, 
even as the poet hath said of him : 

He came and cried they, " Now be Allah blest! o Praise Him that clad that 

soul in so fair vest ! " 
He's King of Beauty where the beauteous be ; o All are his Ryots, 1 all obey 

his hest : 
His lip-dew's sweeter than the virgin honey ; o His teeth are pearls in 

double row close prcst : 
All charms are congregate in him alone, o And deals his loveliness to 

man unrest. 
Beauty wrote on those cheeks for worlds to see o " I testify there is none 

good but He." * 

When the year came to an end, the King called his son to him 
and said, " O my son, wilt thou not hearken to me ? " Whereupon 
Kamar al-Zaman fell down for respect and shame before his 
sire and replied, " O my father, how should I not hearken to thee, 
seeing that Allah commandeth me to obey thee and not gain- 
say thee ? " Rejoined King Shahriman, " O my son, know that I 
desire to marry thee and rejoice in thee whilst yet I live, and 
make thee King over my realm, before my death." When the 
Prince heard his sire pronounce these words he bowed his head 
awhile, then raised it and said, " O my father, this is a thing which 
I will never do ; no, not though I drink the cup of death ! I 
know of a surety that the Almighty hath made obedience to thee 
a duty in religion ; but, Allah upon thee ! press me not in this 
matter of marriage, nor fancy that I will ever marry my life 
long ; for that I have read the books both of the ancients and the 
moderns, and have come to know all the mischiefs and miseries 
which have befallen them through women and their endless 
artifices. And how excellent is the saying of the poet : 

^ 2 

1 Arab. " Ra'ayd " plur. of " Ra'iyat " our Anglo-Indian Ryot, lit. a liege, a subject ; 
secondarily a peasant, a Fellah. 

2 Another audacious parody of the Moslem " testification " to the one God, and to. 
Mohammed the Apostle. 

216 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

He whom the randy motts entrap o Shall never see deliverance ! 
Though build he forts a thousand-fold, o Whose mighty strength lead-plates 


Their force shall be of no avail ; o These fortresses have not a chance ! 

Women aye deal in treachery o To far and near o'er earth's expanse ; 

With fingers dipt in Henna-blood o And locks in braids that mad the 

glance ; 

And eyelids painted o'er with Kohl o They gar us drink of dire mischance. 

And how excellently saith another : 

Women, for all the chastity they claim, o Are offal cast by kites 

where'er they list : 
This night their talk and secret charms are thine ; o That night another joyeth 

calf and wrist : 
Like inn, whence after night thou far'st at dawn, o And lodges other wight 

thou hast not wist." a 

Now when King Shahriman heard these his son's words and learnt 
the import of his verses and poetical quotations, he made no 
answer, of his excessive love for him, but redoubled in gracious- 
ness and kindness to him. He at once broke up the audience 
and, as soon as the seance was over, he summoned his Minister 
and taking him apart, said to him, '* O thou the Wazir ! tell me 

how I shall deal with my son in the matter of marriage." And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

Jlofo fo&w ft foas t&e f^unfcrefc ant* ^bent^secontj Jltg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King 
summoned his Minister; and, taking him apart, said to him, 
41 thou the Wazir, tell me what I shall do with my son in the 
matter of marriage. Of a truth I took counsel with thee thereon 
and thou didst counsel me to marry him, before making him 
King. I have spoken with him of wedlock time after time and 
he still gainsaid me; so do thou, O Wazir, forthright advise me 
what to do." Answered the Minister, " O King, wait another year 
and, if after that thou be minded to speak to him on the matter 
of marriage, speak not to him privily, but.address him on a day of 

1 Showing how long ago forts were armed with metal plales which we have applied to 
war-ships only of late years. 
* The comparison is abominably true in the East. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 217 

state, wlren all the Emirs and Wazirs are present with the whole of. 
the army standing before thee. And when all are in crowd then 
send for thy son, Kamar al-Zaman, and summon him ; and, when 
he cometh, broach to him the matter of marriage before the Wazirs 
and Grandees and Officers of state and Captains ; for he will 
surely be bashful and daunted by their presence and will not dare 
to oppose thy will." Now when King Shahriman heard his Wazir's 
words, he rejoiced with exceeding joy, seeing success in the pro- 
ject, and bestowed on him a splendid robe of honour. Then he 
took patience with his son another year, whilst, with every day 
that passed over him, Kamar al-Zaman increased in beauty and 
loveliness, and elegance and perfect grace, till he was nigh twenty 
years old. Indeed Allah had clad him in the cloak of comeliness 
and had crowned him with the crown of completion: his eye- 
glance was more bewitching than Harut and Marut 1 and the play 
of his luring looks more misleading than Taghut ; 2 and his cheeks 
shone like the dawn rosy-red and his eyelashes stormed the keen- 
edged blade : the whiteness of his brow resembled the moon 
shining bright, and the blackness of his locks was as the murky 
night ; and his waist was more slender than the gossamer 3 and 
his back parts than two sand-heaps bulkier, making a Babel of 
the heart with their softness ; but his waist complained of the 
weight of his hips and loins ; and his charms ravished all mankind, 
even as one of the poets saith in these couplets : 

** By his eyelash tendril curled, by his slender waist I swear, 
By the dart his witchery feathers, fatal hurtling through the air ; 
By the just roundness of his shape, by his glances bright and keen, 
By the swart limning of his locks, and his fair forehead shining sheen ; 
By his eyebrows which deny that she who looks on them should sleep, 
Which now commanding, now forbidding, o'er me high dominion keep ; 

1 Two fallen angels who taught men the art of magic. They are mentioned in the 
Koran (chapt. ii.) ; and the commentators have extensively embroidered the simple text. 
Popularly they are supposed to be hanging by their feet in a well in the territory of 
Babel hence the frequent allusions to " Babylonian sorcery" in Moslem writings; and 
those who would study the black art at head -quarters are supposed to go there. They 
are counterparts of the Egyptian Jamnes and Mambres, the Jannes and Jambres of St. 
Paul (2 Tim. iii. 8). 

2 An idol or idols of the Arabs (Allat and Ozza) before Mohammed (Koran chapt. 
ii. 256). Etymologically the word means " error " and the termination is rather Hebraic 
than Arabic. 

3 Arab." Khayt hamayan" (wandering threads of vanky), or Mukhat al-Shaytan (Satan's 
uvel),= our <c gossamer "= God's summer (Mutter-Gottes-Sommer) or God's cymai (ft. 

Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

By the roses of his cheek, his face as fresh as myrtle wreath, 
His tulip lips, and those pure pearls that hold the places of his teeth ; 
By his noble form, which rises featly turned in even swell 
To where upon his jutting chest two young pomegranates seem to dwell ; 
By his supple moving hips, his taper waist, and silky skin, 
By all he robbed Perfection of, and holds enchained his form within ; 
By his tongue of steadfastness, his nature true, and excellent, 
By the greatness of his rank, his noble birth, and high descent, 
Musk from my love her savour steals, who musk exhales from every limb 
And all the airs ambergris breathes are but the Zephyr's blow o'er him. 
The sun, methinks, the broad bright sun, as low before my love should quail 
,As would my love himself transcend the paltry paring of his nail ! "* 

So King Shahriman, having accepted the counsel of his Wazir> 
waited for another year and a great festival, -- And Shahrazad 
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Woto foten ft foas tje J&untortJ an* feebentp-tjitti Nififjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Shahriman 
having accepted the counsel of his Wazir, waited for another year 
and a great festival, a day of state when the audience hall was 
filled with his Emirs and Wazirs and Grandees of his reign and 1 
Officers of State and Captains of might and main. Thereupon he 
sent for his son Kamar al-Zaman who came, and kissing the 
ground before him three times, stood in presence of his sire with 
; his hands behind his back the right grasping the left. 2 Then said 
the King to him, " Know O my son, that I have not sent for thee on 
this occasion and summoned thee to appear before this assembly 
and all these officers of estate here awaiting our orders save and 
except that I may lay a commandment on thee, wherein do thou 
not disobey me ; and my commandment is that thou marry, for I 
am minded to wed thee to a King's daughter and rejoice in thee 
ere I die." When the Prince heard this much from his royal sire, 
he bowed ru's head groundwards awhile, then raising it towards his 
father and being moved thereto at that time by youthful folly 
and boyish ignorance, replied, " But for myself I will never marry ; 
no, not though I drink the cup of death ! As for thee, thou art 

1 These lines occur in Night xvii. ; so I borrow from Torrens (p. 163) by way of 

* A posture of peculiar submission; contrasting strongly with the attitude afterward* 
Assumed by Prince Charming.. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 219 

great in age and small of wit : hast thou not, twice ere this day 
and before this occasion, questioned me of the matter of marriage, 
and I refused my consent ? Indeed thou dotest and are not fit to 
govern a flock of sheep ! " So saying Kamar al-Zaman unclasped 
his hands from behind his back and tucked up his sleeves above 
his elbows before his father, being in a fit of fury ; moreover, he 
added many words to his sire, knowing not what he said in the 
trouble of his spirits. The King was confounded and ashamed, for 
that this befel in the presence of his grandees and soldier-officers 
assembled on a high festival and a state occasion ; but presently 
the majesty of Kingship took him, and he cried out at his son 
and made him tremble. Then he called to the guards standing 
before him and said, " Seize him ! " So they came forward and 
laid hands on him and, binding him, brought him before his sire, 
who bade them pinion his elbows behind his back and in this guise 
make him stand before the presence. And the Prince bowed down 
his head for fear and apprehension, and his brow and face were 
beaded and spangled with sweat ; and shame and confusion 
troubled him sorely. ^Thereupon his father abused him and reviled 
him and cried, " Woe to thee, thou son of adultery and nursling 
of abomination ! l * How durst thou answer me on this wise before 
my captains and soldiers ? But hitherto none hath chastised 

thee." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

JSofo fojen ft foas tfje ^tmtatr anb g*bentB~fourtJ 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King 
Shahriman cried out to his son Kamar al-Zaman, " How durst 
thou answer me on this wise before my captains and soldiers ? But 
hitherto none hath chastised thee. Knowest thou not that this 
deed thou hast done were a disgrace to him had it been done by 
the meanest of my subjects?" And the King commanded his 
Mamelukes to loose his elbow^bonds and imprison him in one of 
the bastions of the citadel. So they took the Prince and thrust 
him into an old tower, wherein there was a dilapidated saloon and 
in its middle a ruined well, after having first swept it and cleansed 

1 A mere term of vulgar abuse not reflecting on cither parent : . I have heard a mother 
Kail her own son, "Child of adultery." 

220 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

its floor-flags and set therein a couch on which they laid a mattress, 
a leathern rug and a cushion ; and then they brought a great 
lanthorn and a wax candle, for that place was dark, even by day. 
And lastly the Mamelukes led Kamar al-Zaman thither, and 
stationed an eunuch at the door. And when all this was done, the 
Prince threw himself on the couch, sad-spirited, and heavy-hearted ; 
blaming himself and repenting of his injurious conduct to his 
father, whenas repentance availed him naught, and saying, " Allah 
curse marriage and marriageables and married women, the 
traitresses all! Would I had hearkened to my father and ac- 
cepted a wife ! Had I so done it had been better for me than this 
jail." This is how it fared with him ; but as regards King Shahri- 
man, he remained seated on his throne all through the day until 
sundown ; then he took the Minister apart and said to him, 
" Know thou, O Wazir, that thou and thou only wast the cause of 
all this that hath come to pass between me and my son by the 
advice thou wast pleased to devise ; and so what dost thou counsel 
me to do now ?" Answered he, " O King, leave thy son in limbo 
for the space of fifteen days : then summon him to thy presence 
and bid him wed ; and assuredly he shall not gainsay thee again." 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

Nofo fof)*n ft foas tfje f^tmfcrefc anfc Sbebentg-Kftf) Nt<$t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
said to King Shahriman, " Leave thy son in limbo for the space of 
.fifteen days ; then summon him to thy presence and bid him wed ; 
and assuredly he shall not gainsay thee again.'* The King ac- 
cepted the Wazir's opinion and lay down to sleep that night 
troubled at heart concerning his son ; for he loved him with dearest 
love because he had no other child but this ; and it was his wont 
every night not to sleep, save after placing his arm under his son's 
neck. So he passed that night in trouble and unease on the 
Prince's account, tossing from side to side, as he were laid on coals 
of Artemisia-wood * ; for he was overcome with doubts and fears 

1 Arab. "Ghaza," the Artemisia (Euphorbia?) before noticed. If the word be ft 
misprint for Ghada it means a kind of Euphorbia which, with the Ardk (wild caper-tree) 
and the Daum-palm (Crucifera thebiaca), is one of the three normal growths of the 
Arabian desert (Pilgrimage iii. 22). 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 221 

and sleep visited him not all that livelong night * but his eyes ran 
over with tears and he began repeating : 

While slanderers slumber, longsome is my night ; o Suffice thee a heart so 

sad in parting-plight ; 
I say, while night in care slow moments by, o " What I no return for 

thee, fair morning light ? " 

And the saying of another : 

When saw I Pleiad-stars his glance escape o And Pole-star draught of 

sleep upon him pour ; 
And the Bier-daughters 1 wend in mourning dight, o I knew that morning was 

for him no more ! 

Such was the case with King Shahriman ; but as regards Kamar 
al-Zaman, when the night came upon him the eunuch set the 
lanthorn before him and lighting the wax-candle, placed it in the 
candlestick ; then brought him somewhat of food. The Prince ate 
a little and continually reproached himself for his unseemly treat- 
ment of his father, saying to himself, " O my soul, .jcnowest thou 
not that a son of Adam is the hostage of his tongue, and that a 
man's tongue is what casteth him into deadly perils ? " Then his 
eyes ran over with tears and he bewailed that which he had done, 
from anguished vitals and aching heart, repenting him with ex- 
ceeding repentance of the wrong wherewith he had wronged his 
father and repeating : 

Fair youth shall die by stumbling of the tongue : o Stumble of foot works not 

man's life such wrong : 
The slip of lip shall oft smite off the head, While slip of foot shall 

never harm one long. 

Now when he had made an end of eating, he asked for the where- 
withal to wash his hands and when the Mameluke had washed 
them clean of the remnants of food, he arose and made the Wuzu- 
ablution and prayed the prayers of sundown and nightfall, con- 

1 Arab. " Banal al-Na'ash," usually translated daughters of the bier, the three stars 
which represent the horses in either Bear, " Charles' Wain," or Ursa Minor, the waggon 
being supposed to be a bier. " Banat " may be also sons, plur. of Ibn, as the word points 
to irrational objects. So Job (ix. 9 and xxxviii. 32) refers to U. Major as " Ash " or 
4 * Aysh" in the words, "Canst thou guide the bier with its sons?" (erroneously rendered 
" Arcturus with his sons "). In the text the lines are enigmatical, but apparently refer 
to a death-parting. 

222 A If Lay la ft wa Laylah. 

joining them in one ; after which he sat down. And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted 

JBofo fofjm ft foas tlj* f^tmbrcfc anb ^efcent^sfetl) Ntc$t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when tho 
Prince Kamar al-Zaman had prayed (conjoining them in one) the 
prayers of sundown and nightfall, he sat down on the well and 
began reciting the Koran/and he repeated " The Cow," the " House 
of Imran," and " Y. S. ; " The " Compassionate," " Blessed be the 
King," "Unity" and "The two Talismans" 1 ; and he ended with 
blessing and supplication and with saying, " I seek refuge with 
Allah from Satan the stoned." 2 Then he lay down upon his 
couch which was covered with a mattress of satin from al-Ma'adin 
town, the same on both sides and stuffed with the raw silk of 
Irak ; and under his head was a pillow filled with ostrich-down. 
And when ready for sleep, he doffed his outer clothes and drew off 
his bag-trousers and lay down in a shirt of delicate stuff smooth 
as wax ; and he donned a head-kerchief of azure Marazi 3 cloth ; 
and at such time and on this guise Kamar al-Zaman was like the 
full-orbed moon, when it riseth on its fourteenth night. Then, 

1 The Chapters are: 2, 3, 36, 55, 67 and the two last (' Daybreak" cxiii. and 
"Men" cxiv.'), which are called Al-Mu'izzatani (vulgar Al-Mu'izzatayn), the " Two 
Refuge-takings or Preventives," because they obviate enchantment. I have translated 
the two latter as follows : 

" Say : Refuge I take with the Lord of the Day-break * from mischief of what He 
did make from mischief of moon eclipse-showing * and from mischief of witches on 
Cord-knots blowing * and from mischief of envier when envying." 

" Say : Refuge I take with the Lord of men * the sovran of men * the God of 
men * from the Tempter, the Demon * who tempteth in whisper the breasts of men 
and from Jinnis and (evil) men.'* 

* The recitations were Nafilah, or superogatory, two short chapters only being required ; 
and the taking refuge was because he slept in a ruin, a noted place in the East for, 
Ghuls as in the West for ghosts. 

3 Lane (ii. 222) first read " Muroozee " and referred it to the Muruz tribe near Herat : 
he afterwards (iii. 748) corrected it to " Marwazee," of the fabric of Marw (Margiana), 
the place now famed for " Mervousness." As a man of Rayy (Rhages) becomes Razi 
(e.g. Ibn Paris al-Razf), so a man of Marw is Marazi, not Muruzi nor Mdrwazi. The 
"Mikna >M was a veil forming a kind of "respirator," defending from flies by day and 
from mosquitos, dews and draughts by night. Easterns are too sensible to sleep with 
bodies kept warm by bedding, and heads bared to catch every blast. Our grandfather* 
and grandmothers did well to wear bonnets-de-nuit, however ridiculous they may have 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 223 

drawing over his head a coverlet of silk, he fell asleep with the 
lanthorn burning at his feet and the wax-candle over his head, and 
he ceased not sleeping through the first third of the night, not 
knowing what lurked for him in the womb of the Future, and 
what the Omniscient had decreed for him. Now, as Fate and 
Fortune would have it, both tower and saloon were old and had 
been many years deserted ; and there was therein a Roman well 
inhabited by a Jinniyah of the seed of Iblis 1 the Accursed, by 
name Maymunah, daughter of Al-Dimiryat, a renowned King of 

the Jdnn. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Kofo fo&en ft foas tfje f^unfcreb an& befontg=se&em|) Nte$t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the name 
of the Jinniyah in question was Maymunah, daughter of Al- 
Dimiryat; a renowned King of the Jann. And as Kamar 
al-Zaman continued sleeping till the first third of the night, 
Maymunah came up out of the Roman well and made for the 
firmament, thinking to listen by stealth to the converse of the 
angels ; but when she reached the mouth of the well, she saw a 
light shining in the tower, contrary to custom ; and having dwelt 
there many years without seeing the like, she said to herself 
" Never have I witnessed aught like this " ; and, marvelling much 
at the matter, determined that there must be some cause therefor. 
So she made for the light and found the eunuch sleeping within 
the door ; and inside she saw a couch spread, whereon was a 
human form with the wax-candle burning at his head and the 
lanthorn at his feet, and she wondered to see the light and stole 
towards it little by little. Then she folded her wings and stood 
by the bed and, drawing back the coverlid, discovered Kamar 
al-Zaman's face. She was motionless for a full hour in admiration 
and wonderment ; for the lustre of his visage outshone that of the 
candle ; his face beamed like a pearl with light ; his eyelids were 
languorous like those of the gazelle ; the pupils of his eyes were 

1 Iblis, meaning the Despairer, is called in the Koran (chapt. xviii. 48) " One of the 
genii (Jinnis) who departed from the command of his Lord." Mr. Rodwell (in loto} 
notes that the Satans and Jinnis represent in the Koran (it. 32, etc.) the evil-principle 
and finds an admixture of the Semitic Satans and demons with the "Genii from the 
Persian (Babylonian ?) and Indian (Egyptian ?) mythologies." 

224 A If Laylah wa Lay la k. 

intensely black and brilliant * ; his cheeks were rosy red ; his eye- 
brows were arched like bows and his breath exhaled a scent of 
musk, even as saith of him the poet : 

I kissed him : darker grew those pupils, 2 which o Seduce my soul, and cheeks 

flushed rosier hue ; 
O heart, if slanderers dare to deem there be o His like in charms ; Say 

" Bring him hither, you I " 

Now when Maymunah saw him, she pronounced the formula of 
praise, 3 and said, " Blessed be Allah, the best of Creators ! " ; for 
she was of the true-believing Jinn ; and she stood awhile gazing 
on his face, exclaiming and envying the youth his beauty and 
loveliness. And she said in herself, " By Allah ! I will do no hurt 
to him nor let any harm him ; nay, from all of evil will I ransom 
him, for this fair face deserveth not but that folk should gaze upon 
it and for it praise the Lord. Yet how could his family find it in 
their hearts to leave him in such desert place where, if one of our 
Marids came upon him at this hour, he would assuredly slay him." 
Then the Ifritah Maymunah bent over him and kissed him between 
the eyes, and presently drew back the sheet over his face which 
she covered up ; and after this she spread her wings and soaring 
into the air, flew upwards. And after rising high from the circle 
of the saloon she ceased not winging her way through air and 
ascending skywards till she drew near the heaven of this world, 
the lowest of the heavens. And behold, she heard the noisy flap- 
ping of wings cleaving the welkin and, directing herself by the 
sound, she found when she drew near it that the noise came from 
an Ifrit called Dahnash. So she swooped down on him like a 
sparrow-hawk and, when he was aware of her and knew her to be 
Maymunah, the daughter of the King of the Jinn, he feared her 
and his side-muscles quivered ; and he implored her forbearance > 
saying, " I conjure thee by the Most Great and August Name and 
by the most noble talisman graven upon the seal-ring of Solomon, 
entreat me kindly and harm me not ! " When she heard these 

1 Of course she could not see his eyes when they were shut ; nor is this mere Eastern 
Inconsequence. The writer means, "had she seen them, they would have showed/* 

* The eyes are supposed to grow darker under the influence of wine and sexual 

8 To keep off the evil eye. . 

' Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 22 5 

words her heart inclined to him and she said. "Verily, thou con- 
jurest me, O accursed, with a mighty conjuration. Nevertheless, 
I will not let thee go, till thou tell me whence thou comest at this 
hour." He replied, " O Princess, Know that I come from the 
uttermost end of China-land and from among the Islands, and I 
will tell thee of a wonderful thing I have seen this night If thou 
find my words true, let me wend my way and write me a patent 
under thy hand and with thy sign manual that I am thy freedman, 
so none of the Jinn-hosts, whether of the upper who fly or of the 
lower who walk the earth or of those who dive beneath the waters, 
do me let or hindrance." Rejoined Maymunah, " And what is it 
thou hast seen this night, O liar, O accursed ! Tell me without 
leasing and think not to escape from my hand with falses, for I 
swear to thee by the letters graven upon the bezel of the seal-ring 
of Solomon David-son (on both of whom be peace !), except thy 
speech be true, I will pluck out thy feathers with mine own hand 
and strip off thy skin and break thy bones ! " Quoth the Ifrit 
Dahnash son of Shamhurish ! the Flyer, " I accept, O my lady, 

these conditions." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

fofen it foas tfie l^unUreb an& >ebentg=e(sM Nigjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Dahnash 
spoke thus to Maymunah, " I accept, O my lady, these conditions." 
Then he resumed, " Know, O my mistress, that I come to-night 
from the Islands of the Inland Sea in the parts of China, which 

1 Like Dahnash this is a fanciful P. N., fit only for a Jinni. As a rule the appellatives 
of Moslem " genii " end in us (oos), as Tarnus, Huliyanus ; the Jewish in nas, as 
Jattunas ; those of the Tarsa (the "funkers" i.e. Christians) in dus, as Sid us ; and 
the Hindus in tus, as Naktus (who entered the service of the Prophet Shays, or Seth, 
and was converted to the Faith). The King of the Genii is Malik Katshan who inhabits 
Mount Kaf ; and to the west of him lives his son-in-law, Abd al-Rahman with 33,000 
domestics : these names were given by the Apostle Mohammed. " Baktanus " is lord 
of three Moslem troops of the wandering Jinns, which number a total of twelve bands 
and extend from Sind to Europe. The Jinns, Divs, Peris ("fairies") and other pre- 
Adamitic creatures were governed by seventy-two Sultans all known as Sulayman and 
the last I have said was Jan bin Jan. The angel Haris was sent from Heaven to chastise 
Hum, but in the pride of victory he also revolted with his followers the Jinns whilst the 
Peris held aloof. When he refused to bow down before Adam he and his chiefs were 
eternally imprisoned but the other Jinns are allowed to range over earth as a security for 
man's obedience. The text gives the three orders, flyers, walkejrs and divers. 

VOL. III. p 

226 A If Laylah wa Lay Ian. 

are the realms of King Ghayiir, lord of the Islands and the Seas 
and the Seven Palaces. There I saw a daughter of his, than whom 
Allah hath made none fairer in her time : I cannot picture her 
to thee, for my tongue would fail to describe her with her due of 
praise ; but I will name to thee a somewhat of her charms by way 
of approach. Now her hair is like the nights of disunion and 
separation and her face like the days of union and delectation \ 
and right well hath the poet said when picturing her : 

She dispread the locks from her head one night, o Showing four-fold nights into 

one night run ; 
And she turned her visage towards the moon, o And two moons showed at 

moment one. 

She hath a nose like the edge of the burnished blade and cheeks 
like purple wine or anemones blood-red : her lips as coral and 
cornelian shine and the water of her mouth is sweeter than old 
wine ; its taste would quench Hell's fiery pain. Her tongue is 
moved by wit of high degree and ready repartee: her breast is a 
seduction to all that see it (glory be to Him who fashioned it and 
finished it !) ; and joined thereto are two upper arms smooth and 
rounded ; even as saith of her the poet Al-Walahdn : ! 

She hath wrists which, did her bangles not contain, o Would run from out her 
. sleeves in silvern rain. 

She hath breasts like two globes of ivory, from whose brightness 
the moons borrow light, and a stomach with little waves as it were 
a figured cloth of the finest Egyptian linen made by the Copts, 
with creases like folded scrolls, ending in a waist slender past all 
power of imagination ; based upon back parts like a hillock of 
blown sand, that force her to sit when she would lief stand, and 
awaken her, when she fain would sleep, even as saith of her and 
describeth her the poet : 

She hath those hips conjoined by thread of waist, o Hips that o'er me and 

her too tyrannise ; 
My thoughts they daze whene'er I think of them, o And weigh her down 

whene'er she would uprise, 8 

1 i.e. distracted (with love) ; the Lakab, or poetical name, of apparently a Spanish poet. 

3 Nothing is more " and -pathetic " to Easterns than lean hips and flat hinder-cheeks 
in women and they are right in insisting upon the characteristic difference of the male 
and female figure. Our modern sculptors and painters, whose study of the nude is 
usually most perfunctory, have often scandalised me by the lank and greyhound-like 
fining off of the frame, which thus becomes rather simian than human. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 227 

And those back parts are upborne by thighs smooth and round 
and by a calf like a column of pearl, and all this reposeth upon 
two feet, narrow, slender and pointed like spear-blades, 1 the handi- 
work of the Protector and Requiter, I wonder how, of their little- 
ness, they can sustain what is above them. But I cut short 
my praises of her charms fearing lest I be tedious." -- And 
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

jiofo to&en ft foas tf)* ^un&rett anH gbebentg-nmti) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit 
Dahnash bin Shamhurish said to the Ifritah Maymunah, " Of a 
truth I cut short my praises fearing lest I be tedious." Now when 
Maymunah heard the description of that Princess and her beauty 
and loveliness, she stood silent in astonishment ; whereupon Dahnash 
resumed, " The father of this fair maiden is a mighty King, a fierce 
knight, immersed night and day in fray and fight ; for whom death 
hath no fright and the escape of his foe no dread, for that he is a 
tyrant masterful and a conqueror irresistible, lord of troops and 
armies and continents and islands, and cities and villages, and his 
name is King Ghayur, Lord of the Islands and of the Seas and of 
the Seven Palaces. Now he loveth his daughter, the young maideni 
whom I have described to thee, with dearest love and, for affection 
of her, he hath heaped together the treasures of all the kings and 
built her therewith seven palaces, each of a different fashion ; the 
first of crystal, the second of marble, the third of China steel, the 
fourth of precious stones and gems of price, the fifth of porcelain 
and many-hued onyxes and ring-bezels, the sixth of silver and 
the seventh of gold. And he hath filled the seven palaces with 
all sorts of sumptuous furniture, rich silken carpets and hangings 
and vessels of gold and silver and all manner of gear that kings 
require ; and hath bidden his daughter to abide in each by turns 
for a certain season of the year ; and her name is the Princess 

1 The small fine foot is a favourite with Easterns as well as Westerns. Ovid (A. A.) 
is not ashamed "ad teneros Oscula (not basia or suavia) ferre pedes." Ariosto ends the 
august person in 

II breve, asciutto, e ritondetto piede, 
(The short-sized, clean-cut, roundly-moulded foot). 

And all the world over it is a sign of " blood," i.e. the fine nervous temperament. 

228 Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

Budur. 1 Now when her beauty became known and her name and 
fame were bruited abroad in the neighbouring countries, all the 
kings sent to her father to demand her of him in marriage, and he 
consulted her on the matter, but she disliked the very word wedlock 
with a manner of abhorrence and said, O my father, I have no 
mind to marry ; no, not at all ; for I am a sovereign Lady and a 
Queen suzerain ruling over men, and I have no desire for a man 
who shall rule over me. And the more suits she refused, the more 
her suitors' eagerness increased and all the Royalties of the Inner 
Islands of China sent presents and rarities to her father with letters 
asking her in marriage. So he pressed her again and again with 
advice on the matter of espousals ; but she ever opposed to him 
refusals, till at last she turned upon him angrily and cried, O my 
father, if thou name matrimony to me once more, I will go into 
my chamber and take a sword and, fixing its hilt in the ground, 
will set its point to my waist ; then will I press upon it, till it 
come forth from my back, and so slay myself. Now when the 
King heard these her words, the light became darkness in his sight 
and his heart burned for her as with a flame of fire, because he 
feared lest she should kill herself; and he was filled with perplexity 
concerning her affair and the kings her suitors. So he said to her, 
If thou be determined not to marry and there be no help for it : 
abstain from going and coming in and out. Then he placed her 
in a house and shut her up in a chamber, appointing ten old women 
as duennas to guard her, and forbade her to go forth to the Seven 
Palaces ; moreover, he made it appear that he was incensed against 
her, and sent letters to all the kings, giving them to know that she 
had been stricken with madness by the Jinns ; and it is now a year 
since she hath thus been secluded." Then continued the Ifrit 
Dahnash, addressing the Ifritah Maymunah, " And I, O my lady, 
go to her every night and take my fill of feeding my sight on her 
face and I kiss her between the eyes : yet, of my love to her, I do 
her no hurt neither mount her, for that her youth is fair and her 
grace surpassing : every one who seeth her jealouseth himself for 
her. I conjure thee, therefore, O my lady, to go back with me and 
look on her beauty and loveliness and stature and perfection of 
proportion ; and after, if thou wilt, chastise me or enslave me ; 
and win to thy will, for it is thine to bid and to forbid." So saying, 

1 i.e. "full moons" ; the French have corrupted it to " Badoure"; we to " Badoura/* 
which is worse. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zama>~ 229 

the Ifrit Dahnash bowed his head towards the earth and drooped 
his wings downwards ; but Maymunah laughed at his words and 
spat in his face and answered, " What is this girl of whom thou 
pratest but a potsherd wherewith to wipe after making water ? l 
Faugh ! Faugh ! By Allah, O accursed, I thought thou hadst 
some wondrous tale to tell me or some marvellous news to give me., 
How would it be if thou were to sight my beloved ? Verily, this 
night I have seen a young man, whom if thou saw though but in a 
dream, thou wouldst be palsied with admiration and spittle would 
flow from thy mouth." Asked the Ifrit, " And who and what is 
this youth ? " ; and she answered, " Know, O Dahnash, that there 
hath befallen the young man the like of what thou tellest me befel 
thy mistress ; for his father pressed him again and again to marry, 
but he refused, till at length his sire waxed wroth at being opposed 
and imprisoned him in the tower where I dwell : and I came up 
to-night and saw him." Said Dahnash, " O my lady, shew me 
this youth, that I may see if he be indeed handsomer than my 
mistress, the Princess Budur, or not ; for I cannot believe that the 
like of her liveth in this our age." Rejoined Maymunah, " Thou 
liest, O accursed, O most ill-omened of Marids and vilest of 
Satans ! 2 Sure am I that the like of my beloved is not in this 

world." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day andl ceased 

to say her permitted say. 

JJoto foijen ft foaa tfje ^unfcrft anb lEtfiijttetft 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifritah 
Maymunah spake thus to the Ifrit Dahnash, " Sure am I that the 

1 As has been said a single drop of urine renders the clothes ceremoniously impure, 
hence a stone or a handful of earth must be used after the manner of the torche-cul. 
Scrupulous Moslems, when squatting to make water, will prod the ground before tliem 
with the point of stick or umbrella, so as to loosen it and prevent the spraying of the 

2 It is not generally known to Christians that Satan has a wife called Awwd(" Hawwa* " 
being the Moslem Eve) and, as Adam had three sons, the Tempter has nine, viz., Zu '! 
baysun who rules in bazars ; Wassin who prevails in times of trouble ; Awan who 
counsels kings ; Haffan patron of wine-bibbers ; Marrah of musicians and dancers ; 
Masbut of newspreaders (and newspapers ?) ; Dulha*n who frequents places of worship 
and interferes with devotion, Dasim, lord of mansions and dinner tables, who prevents 
the Faithful saying " Bismillah " and " Inshallah," as commanded in the Koran (xviii,; 
23), and Lakis, lord of Fire- worshippers (Herklots, chap. xxix. sect. 4). 

Alf Laylah wa Laylah* 

like of my beloved is not in this world ! Art thou mad to fellow 
thy beloved with my beloved?" He said, "Allah upon thee, O 
my lady, go back with me and look upon my mistress, and after I 
jwill return with thee and look upon thy beloved." She answered, 
* It must needs be so, O accursed, for thou art a knavish devil ; 
but I will not go with thee nor shalt thou come with me, save upon 
condition of a wager which is this. If the lover thou lovest and 
of whom thou boastest so bravely, prove handsomer than mine 
whom I mentioned and whom I love and of whom I boast, the bet 
shall be thine against me ; but if my beloved prove the handsomer 
the bet shall be mine against thee." Quoth Dahnash the Ifrit, 
" O my lady, I accept this thy wager and am satisfied thereat ; so 
come with me to the Islands." Quoth Maymunah ; " No ! for the 
abode of my beloved is nearer than the abode of thine : here it is 
under us ; so come down with me to see my beloved and after we 
will go look upon thy mistress." " I hear and I obey," said Dah- 
nash. So they descended to earth and alighted in the saloon which 
the tower contained ; then Maymunah stationed Dahnash beside 
the bed and, putting out her hand, drew back the silken coverlet 
from Kamar al-Zaman's face, when it glittered and glistened and 
shimmered and shone like the rising sun. She gazed at him for a 
moment, then turning sharply round upon Dahnash said, " Look, 
O accursed, and be not the basest of madmen ; I am a maid, yet 
my heart he hath waylaid." So Dahnash looked at the Prince 
and long continued gazing steadfastly on him then, shaking his 
head, said to Maymunah, " By Allah, O my lady, thou art excus- 
able ; but there is yet another thing to be considered, and this is, 
that the estate female differeth from the male. By Allah's might, 
this thy beloved is the likest of all created things to my mistress 
in beauty and loveliness and grace and perfection ; and it is as 
though they were both cast alike in the mould of seemlihead." 
Now when Maymunah heard these words, the light became dark- 
ness in her sight and she dealt him with her wing so fierce a buffet 
on the head as well-nigh made an end of him. Then quoth she 
to him, " I conjure thee, by the light of his glorious countenance, 
go at once, O accursed, and bring hither thy mistress whom thou 
lovest so fondly and foolishly, and return in haste that we may lay 
the twain together and look on them both as they lie asleep side 
by side ; so shall it appear to us which be the goodlier and more 
beautiful of the two. Except thou obey me this very moment, O 
accursed, I will dart my sparks at thee with my fire and consume 

Tale of Kamar al-Z await. 231 

thee ; yea, in pieces I will rend thee and into the deserts cast thee, 
that to stay-at-home and wayfarer an example thou be ! " Quoth 
Dahnash, " O my lady, I will do thy behests, for I know forsure 
that my mistress is the fairer and the sweeter." So saying the 
Ifrit flew away and Maymunah flew with him to guard him. They 
were absent awhile and presently returned, bearing the young lady, 
who was clad in a shift of fine Venetian silk, with a double edging 
of gold and purfled with the most exquisite of embroidery having 
these couplets worked upon the ends of the sleeves : 

Three matters hinder her from visiting us, in fear * Of hate-full, slandering 

envier and his hired spies : 
The shining light of brow, the trinkets' tinkling voice, * And scent of essences 

that tell whene'er she hies : 
Gi'en that she hide her brow with edge of sleeve, and leave o At home her 

trinketry, how shall her scent disguise ? l 

And Dahnash and Maymunah stinted not bearing that young lady 
till they had carried her into the saloon and had laid her beside 

the youth Kamar al-Zaman. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nob) fofjen it toas tfje ^unfcrefc anil 1Effif)tB=fir0t 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Ifrit 
Dahnash and the Ifritah Maymunah stinted not bearing Princess 
Budur till they descended and laid her on the couch beside Kamar 
al-Zaman. Then they uncovered both their faces, and they were 
the likest of all folk, each to other, as they were twins or an only 
brother and sister ; and indeed they were a seduction to the pious, 
even as saith of them the poet Al-Mubin : 

1 Strong perfumes, such as musk (which we Europeans dislike and suspect), are always 
insisted upon in Eastern poetry ; and Mohammed's predilection for them is well known. 
Moreover the young and the beautiful are held (justly enough) to exhale a natural 
fragrance which is compared with that of the blessed in Paradise. Hence in the 
Mu'allakah of Imr al-Kays : 

Breathes the scent of musk when Jthey rise to rove, As the Zephyr's breath 
with the flavour o' clove. 

It is made evident by dogs and other fine-nosed animals that every human being has his, 
or her, peculiar scent which varies according to age and health. Hence animals oftea. 
detect the approach of death. 

232 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

O heart ! be not thy love confined to one, Lest thou by doting or dis 

dain be undone : 
Love all the fair, and thou shall find with them o If this be lost, to thee that 

shall be won. 

And quoth another: 

Mine eyes beheld two lying on the ground; o Both had I loved if on these eyne 
they lay ! 

So Dahnash and Maymunah gazed on them awhile, and he said, 
" By Allah, O my lady, it is good ! My mistress is assuredly the 
fairer." She replied, " Not so, my beloved is the fairer ; woe to 
thee, O Dahnash ! Art blind of eye and heart that lean from fat 
thou canst not depart ? Wilt thou hide the truth ? Dost thou 
not see his beauty and loveliness and fine stature and symmetry ? 
Out on thee, hear what I purpose to say in praise of my beloved 
and, if thou be a lover true to her thou dost love, do thou the like 
for her thou lovest." Then she kissed Kamar al-Zaman again 
and again between the eyes and improvised this ode : 

How is this ? Why should the blamer abuse thee in his pride f 
What shall console my heart for thee, that art but slender bough ? 

A Nature- KohFd 1 eye thou hast that witcheth far and wide ; 
From pure platonic love 2 of it deliverance none I trow ! 

Those glances, fell as plundering Turk, to heart such havoc deal 
As never havocked scymitar made keenest at the curve. 

On me thou layest load of love the heaviest while I feel 
So feeble grown that under weight of chemisette I swerve* 

My love for thee as wottest well is habit, and my lowe 
Is nature ; to all others false is all the love I tender : 

Now were my heart but like to thine I never would say No ; 
Only my wasted form is like thy waist so gracious-slender : 

Out on him who in Beauty's robe for moon-like charms hath fame, 
And who is claimed by mouth of men as marvel of his tribe ! 

" Of man what manner may he be " (ask they who flyte and blame) 
" For whom thy heart is so distressed?" I only cry " Describe ! " 

1 Arab. " Kahla." This has been explained. Mohammed is said to have been bom 

" Kohl'd eyes." 
* Hawa" al-'uzri, before noticed .(Night 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 233 

Oh stone-entempered heart of him ! learn of his yielding grace 
And bending form to show me grace and yielding to consent 

Oh my Prince Beautiful, thou hast an Overseer in place ! 

Who irketh me ; and eke a Groom whose wrong doth ne'er relent 

Indeed he lieth who hath said that all of loveliness 

Was pent in Joseph : in thy charms there's many and many a Joe ! 

The Genii dread me when I stand and face to face address ; 
JBut meeting thee my fluttering heart its shame and terror show. 

I take aversion semblance and I turn from thee in fright, 
But more aversion I assume, more love from me dost claim ; 

That hair of jetty black ! That brow e'er raying radiant light ! 

Those eyne wherein white jostles black ! 2 That dearling dainty frame ! 

When Dahnash heard the poesy which Maymunah spake in 
praise of her beloved, he joyed with exceeding joy and marvelled 

with excessive wonderment. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofim it foas if)* f^unfcreli anto 1Sta6tB=seconU Nt'sfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Ifrit Dahnash heard the poesy which Maymunah spake in praise 
of her beloved, he shook for exceeding joy and said, " Thou hast 
celebrated thy beloved in song and thou hast indeed done well 
in praise of him whom thou lovest ! And there is no help for it 
but that I also in my turn do my best to enfame my mistress, 
and recite somewhat in her honour." Then the Ifrit went up to 
the lady Budur ; and, kissing her between the eyes, looked at 
Maymunah and at his beloved Princess and recited the following 
verses, albeit he had no skill in poesy : 

Love for my fair they chide in angry way ; o Unjust for ignorance, yea un- 

justest they ! 
Ah lavish favours on the love-mad, whom o Taste of thy wrath and parting 

woe shall slay : 

1 These lines, with the Nazir (eye or steward), the Hajib (Groom of the Chambers or 
Chamberlain) and Joseph, are also repeated from Night cxiv. For the Nazir see Al- 
Hatiri (Nos. xiii. and xxii.) 

2 The usual allusion to the Hur (Houris) from "Hawar," the white and black of 
the eye shining in contrast. The Persian Magi also placed in their Heaven (Bihisht or 
Minu) ' Huran," or black-eyed nymphs, under the charge of the angel Zamiyad. 

234 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

In sooth for love I'm wet with railing tears, o That rail mine eyelids blood 

thou mightest say : 
No marvel what I bear for love, 'tis marvel o That any know my "me" while 

thou 'rt away : 
Unlawful were our union did I doubt o Thy love, or heart incline to 

other May. 

And eke these words : 

I feed eyes on their stead by the valley's side, o And I'm slain and my 

slayer ! aside hath hied : 
Grief- wine have I drunken, and down my cheeks o Dance tears to the song 

of the camel-guide : 
For union-blessing I strive though sure, In Budur and Su'ad all my 

bliss shall bide: 2 
Wot I not which of three gave me most to 'plain, o So hear them numbered 

ere thou decide : 
Those Sworders her eyne, that Lancer her fig- o -ure, or ting-mail'd Locks 

which her forehead hide. 
Quoth she (and I ask of her what so wights o Or abide in towns or in 

desert ride 3 ) 
To me, "In thy heart I dwell; look there!" o Quoth I, "Where's my 

heart, ah where ? ah where ? " 

When Maymunah heard these lines from the Ifrit, she said, "Thou 
hast done well, O Dahnash ! But say thou which of the two is the 
handsomer ? " And he answered, " My mistress Budur is hand- 
somer than thy beloved ! " Cried Maymunah, " Thou liest, O 
accursed. Nay, my beloved is more beautiful than thine ! " But 
Dahnash persisted, " Mine is the fairer." And they ceased not 
to wrangle and challenge each other's words till Maymunah cried 
out at Dahnash and would have laid violent hands on him ; but 
he humbled himself to her arid, softening his speech, said, " Let 
not the truth be a grief to thee, and cease we this talk, for all we 
say is to testify in favour of our lovers ; rather let each of us with- 

1 In the first hemistich, "bi-shitt 'il wady" (by the wady-bank) : in the second, "wa 
shatta '1 wady" ("and my slayer" i.e. wddy act. part, of wady, killing " hath paced 

2 The double entendre is from the proper names Budur and Su'a"d (Beatrice) also 
meaning "auspicious (or blessed) full moons." 

3 Arab. " Hazir " (also Ahl al-hazar, townsmen) and Bddi, a Badawi, also called " Ahl 
al-Wabar," people of the camel's hair (tent) and A'arab (Nomadic) as opposed to Arab 
(Arab settled or not). They still boast with Ibn Abbas, cousin of Mohammed, that they 
have kerchiefs (not turbands) for crowns, tents for houses, loops for walls, swords for 
scarves and poems for registers or written laws. 

Tale of Kamar al-'Zaman* 235 

draw the claim and seek we one who shall judge fairly between 
us which of the two be fairer ; and by his sentence we will abide." 
" I agree to this," answered she and smote the earth with her foot, 
whereupon there came out of it an Ifrit blind of an eye, hump- 
backed and scurvy-skinned, with eye-orbits slit up and down his 
face. 1 On his head were seven horns and four locks of hair fell 
to his heels ; his hands were pitchfork-like and his legs mast-like 
and he had nails as the claws of a lion, and feet as the hoofs of the 
wild ass. 2 When that Ifrit rose out of the earth and sighted May- 
rnunah, he kissed the ground before her and, standing with his 
hands clasped behind him, said, " What is thy will, O my mis- 
tress, O daughter of my King?" 3 She replied, "O Kashkash, I 
would have thee judge between me and this accursed Dahnash." 
And she made known to him the matter, from first to last, where- 
upon the Ifrit Kashkash looked at the face of the youth and then 
at the face of the girl ; and saw them lying asleep, embraced, 
each with an arm under the other's neck, alike in beauty and 
loveliness and equal in grace and goodliness. The Marid gazed 
long upon them, marvelling at their seemlihead ; and, after care- 
fully observing the twain, he turned to Maymunah and Dahnash, 
and repeated these couplets : 

Co, visit her thou lovest, and regard not 

The words detractors utter ; envious churls 

Can never favour love. Oh! sure the Merciful 

Ne'er made a thing more fair to look upon, 

Than two fond lovers in each others' arms, 

Speaking their passion in a mute embrace. 

When heart has turned to heart, the fools would part then 

Strike idly on cold steel. So when thou 'st found 

One purely, wholly thine, accept her true heart, 

And live for her alone. Oh ! thou that blamest 

The love-struck for their love, give o'er thy talk, 

How canst thou minister to a mind diseased? 4 

9 This is a peculiarity of the Jinn tribe when wearing hideous forms. It is also found 
in the Hindu Rakshasa. 

2 Which, by the by, are small and beautifully shaped. The animal is very handy 
with them, as I learnt by experience when trying to " Rareyfy " one at Bayrut. 

3 She being daughter of Al-Dimiryat, King of the Jinns. Mr. W. F. Kirby has 
made him the subject of a pretty poem. 

4 These lines have occurred in Night xxii. I give Torrens's version (p. 223) by way 
of variety. 

236 Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

Then he turned again to Maymunah and Dahnash and said to 
them, " By Allah, if you will have the truth, I tell you fairly the 
twain be equal in beauty, and loveliness and perfect grace and 
goodliness, nor can I make any difference between them on account 
of their being man and woman. But I have another thought 
which is that we wake each of them in turn, without the know- 
ledge of the other, and whichever is the more enamoured shall 
be held inferior in seemlihead and comeliness." Quoth Maymunah, 
" Right is this recking," and quoth Dahnash, " I consent to this." 
Then Dahnash changed himself to the form of a flea and bit 
Kamar al-Zaman, whereupon he started from sleep in a fright 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 


Nofo fo&cn it foas tje ^unfcreb anfc lEtgfjt^tDirtr Ntgfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Dahnash 
changed himself to the form of a flea and bit Kamar al-Zaman 
who started from sleep in a fright and rubbed the bitten part, 
his neck, and scratched it hard because of the smart. Then 
turning sideways, he found lying by him something whose breath 
was' sweeter than musk and whose skin was softer than cream* 
Hereat marvelled he with great marvel and he sat up and looked 
at what lay beside him ; when he saw it to be a young lady like 
an union pearl, or a shining sun, or a dome seen from afar on a 
well-built wall ; for she was five feet tall, with a shape like the 
letter 1 ) , bosomed high and rosy-cheeked ; even as saith of her 
the poet : 

1 Arab. " Kamat Alfiyyah," like an Alif, the first of the Arabic alphabet, the Heb. 
Aleph. The Arabs, I have said, took the flag or water-leaf form and departed very far from 
the Egyptian original (we know from Plutarch that the hieroglyphic abecedarium began 
with " a "), which was chosen by other imitators, namely the bull's head ; and which in 
the cursive form, especially the Phoenician, became a yoke. In numerals "Alif" 
denotes one or one thousand. It inherits the traditional honours of Alpha (as opposed 
to Omega), and in books, letters and writings generally it is placed as a monogram over 
the " Bismillah," an additional testimony to the Unity. (See vol. i. p. l). In mediaeval 
Christianity this place of honour was occupied by the cross : none save the wildest 
countries have preserved it, but our vocabulary still retains Criss* (Christ-)cross 
Row, for hofn-book, on account of the old alphabet and nine digits disposed in the 
form of a Latin cross. Hence Tickell (" The Horn-book) : 

Mortals ne'er shall know 

More than contained of old the Chris'-cross Row. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 237 

Four things which ne'er conjoin, unless it be o To storm my vitals and to 

shed my blood : 
Brow white as day and tresses black as night o Cheeks rosy red and lips 

which smiles o'erflood. 

And also quoth another : 

A Moon she rises, Willow-wand she waves, o Breathes Ambergris, and 

gazes, a Gazelle : 
Meseems that sorrow wooes my heart and wins o And, when she wendeth 

hastes therein to dwell ! 

And when Kamar al-Zaman saw the lady Budur, daughter of 
King Ghayur, and her beauty and comeliness, she was sleeping 
clad in a shift of Venetian silk, without her petticoat-trousers, 
and wore on her head a kerchief embroidered with gold and set 
with stones of price: her ears were hung with twin earrings 
which shone like constellations and round her neck was a collar 
of union pearls, of size unique, past the competence of any King. 
When he saw this, his reason was confounded and natural heat 
began to stir in him ; Allah awoke in him the desire of coition 
and he said to himself, "Whatso Allah willeth, that shall be, 
and what He willeth not shall never be ! " So saying, he put 
out his hand and, turning her over, loosed the collar of her 
chemise ; then arose before his sight her bosom, with its breasts 
like double globes of ivory; whereat his inclination for her re- 
doubled and he desired her with exceeding hot desire. He 
would have awakened her but she would not awake, for Dahnash 
had made her sleep heavy ; so he shook her and moved her, 
saying, " O my beloved, awake and look on me ; I am Kamar 
al-Zaman." But she awoke not, neither moved her head ; where- 
upon he considered her case for a long hour and said to himself, 
" If I guess aright, this is the damsel to whom my father would 
have married me and these three years past I have refused her ; 
but Inshallah ! God willing as soon as it is dawn, I will say to 

him : Marry me to her, that I may enjoy her." And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say, 

Noto fo&en ft foas t&e f^untrrefc an& lEffiJt^fourtfj 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar 
al-Zaman said to himself, u By Allah, when I see dawn I will say 
to rny sire: Marry me to her that I may enjoy her; nor will I let 

238 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

half the day pass ere I possess her and take my fill of her beauty 
and loveliness." Then he bent over Budur to buss her, whereat 
the Jinniyah Maymunah trembled and was abashed and Dahnash, 
the Ifrit, was like to fly for joy. But, as Kamar al-Zaman was 
about to kiss her upon the mouth, he was ashamed before Allah 
and turned away his head and averted his face, saying to his heart, 
" Have patience." Then he took thought awhile and said, " I will 
be patient ; haply my father when he was wroth with me and sent 
me to this jail, may have brought my young lady and made her 
lie by my side to try me with her, and may have charged her not 
to be readily awakened when I would arouse her, and may have 
said to her : Whatever thing Kamar al-Zaman do to thee, make 
me ware thereof ; or belike my sire standeth hidden in some stead 
whence (being himself unseen) he can see all I do with this young 
lady ; and to-morrow he will scold me and cry : How cometh it 
that thou sayest, I have no mind to marry ; and yet thou didst 
kiss and embrace yonder damsel ? So I will withhold myself lest 
I be ashamed before my sire ; and the right and proper thing to 
do is not to touch her at this present, nor even to look upon her, 
except to take from her somewhat which shall serve as a token to 
me and a memorial of her ; that some sign endure between me 
and her." Then Kamar al-Zaman raised the young lady s hand 
and took from her little finger a seal-ring worth an immense 
amount of money, for that its bezel was a precious jewel and 
around it were graven these couplets : 

Count not that I your promises forgot, * Despite the length of your 

delinquencies : 
Be generous, O my lord, to me inclining ; * Haply your mouth and cheeks 

these lips may kiss: 
By Allah, ne'er will I relinquish you Albe you w/// transgress love's 


Then Kamar al-Zaman took the seal-ring from the little finger of 
Queen Budur and set it on his own ; then, turning his back to her, 
went to sleep. 1 When Maymunah the Jinniyah saw this, she was 
glad and said to Dahnash and Kashkash, " Saw ye how my beloved 
Kamar al-Zaman bore himself chastely towards this young lady ? 
Verily, this was of the perfection of his good gifts ; for observe 
you twain how he looked on her and noted her beauty and love- 

1 The young man must have been a demon of chastity. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 239 

Ifness, and yet embraced her not neither kissed her nor put his 
hand to her, but turned his back and slept." Answered they, 
" Even so ! " Thereupon Maymunah changed herself into a flea 
and entering into the raiment of Budur, the loved of Dahnash, 
crept up her calf and came upon her thigh and, reaching a place 
some four carats * below her navel, there bit her. Thereupon she 
opened her eyes and sitting up in bed, saw a youth lying beside 
her and breathing heavily in his sleep, the loveliest of Almighty 
Allah's creatures, with eyes that put to shame the fairest Houris 
of Heaven ; and a mouth like Solomon's seal, whose water was 
sweeter to the taste and more efficacious than a theriack, and lips 
the colour of coral-stone, and cheeks like the blood-red anemone, 
even as saith one, describing him in these couplets : 

My mind's withdrawn from Zaynab and Nawdr 2 * By rosy cheeks that growth 
of myrtle bear ; 

I love a fawn, a tunic-vested boy, * And leave the love of bracelet-wearing 

My mate in hall and closet is unlike * Her that I play with, as at home we 

Oh thou, who blam'st my flight from Hind and Zaynab, The cause is clear 
as dawn uplighting air ! 

Would'st have me fare 3 a slave, the thrall of thrall, * Cribbed, pent, con- 
fined behind the bar and wall? 

Now when Princess Budur saw him, she was seized by a transport 
of passion and yearning and love-longing, And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

fojm ft foas tje f^unfcrefc ant* 3Et<$t^fiftj) ttft'gfit, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Princess Budur saw Kamar al-Zaman she was forthwith seized 
with a transport of passion and yearning and love-longing, and 
she said to herself, " Alas, my shame ! This is a strange youth 

1 Arab." Kirat" from Kepcmov, i.e. bean, the seed of the Abrus precatorius, in weight 
r= two to three (English) grains ; and in length = one finger-breadth here ; 24 being 
the total. The Moslem system is evidently borrowed from the Roman "as" and 

2 Names of women. 

3 Arab. " Amsa " (lit. he passed the evening) like "asbaha" (he rose in the morning) 
"Azha " (he spent the forenoon) and " bata " (he Spent the night), are idiomatically used 
for " to be in any state, to continue " without specification of time or season. 

240 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

and I know him not. How cometh he to be lying by my side 
on one bed ? " Then she looked at him a second time and v 
noting his beauty and loveliness, said, " By Allah, he is indeed 
a comely youth and my heart * is well-nigh torn in sunder with 
longing for him ! But alas, how am I shamed by him ! By the 
Almighty, had I known it was this youth who sought me in mar- 
riage of my father, I had not rejected him, but had wived with him 
and enjoyed his loveliness ! " Then she gazed in his face and said, 
" O my lord and light of mine eyes, awake from sleep and take 
thy pleasure in my beauty and grace." And she moved him with 
her hand ; but Maymunah the Jinniyah let down sleep upon him 
as it were a curtain, and pressed heavily on his head with her 
wings so that Kamar al-Zaman awoke not. Then Princess Budur 
shook him with her hands and said, " My life on thee, hearken to 
me ; awake and up from thy sleep and look on the narcissus and 
the tender down thereon, and enjoy the sight of naked waist and 
navel ; and touzle me and tumble me from this moment till break 
of day ! Allah upon thee, O my lord, sit up and prop thee against 
the pillow and slumber not !" Still Kamar al-Zaman made her no 
reply but breathed hard in his sleep. Continued she, " Alas ! Alas ! 
thou art insolent in thy beauty and comeliness and grace and 
loving looks ! But if thou art handsome, so am I handsome ; what 
then is this thou dost ? Have they taught thee to flout me or hath 
my father, the wretched old fellow, 2 made thee swear not to speak 
to me to-night?" But Kamar al-Zaman opened not his mouth 
neither awoke, whereat her passion for him redoubled and Allah 
inflamed her heart with love of him. She stole one glance of eyes 
that cost her a thousand sighs : her heart fluttered, and her vitals 
throbbed and her hands and feet quivered ; and she said to Kamar 
al-Zaman " Talk to me, O my lord ! Speak to me, O my friend ! 

1 Lit. "my liver;" which viscus, and not the heart, is held the seat of passion ; a 
fancy dating from the oldest days. Theocritus says of Hercules, " In his liver Love had 
fixed a wound" (Idyl. xiii). In the Anthologia " Cease, Love, to wound my liver and 
my heart" (lib. vii.) So Horace (Odes, i. 2); his Latin Jecur and the Persian 
"Jigar" being evident congeners. The idea was long prevalent and we find in, 
Shakespeare : 

Alas, then Love may be called appetite, 
No motion of the liver but the palate. 

2 A marvellous touch of nature, love ousting affection ; the same twit will appear ia 
the lover and both illustrate the deep Italian saying, " Amor discende. non ascende.** 
The further it goes down the stronger it becomes as of grand-parent for grand-child and 
vice vtrsd." 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 241 

Answer me, O my beloved, and tell me thy name, for indeed thou 
hast ravished my wit ! " And during all this time he abode 
drowned in sleep and answered her not a word, and Princess Budur 
sighed and said, "Alas! Alas! why art thou so proud and self- 
satisfied ? " Then she shook him and turning his hand over, saw 
her seal-ring on his little finger, whereat she cried a loud cry, and 
followed it with a sigh of passion and said, " Alack ! Alack ! By 
Allah, thou art my beloved and thou lovest me ! Yet thou seemest 
to turn thee away from me out of coquetry, for all, O my darling, 
thou earnest to me, whilst I was asleep and knew not what thou 
didst with me, and tookest my seal-ring ; and yet I will not pull 
it off thy finger." So saying, she opened the bosom of his shirt 
and bent over him and kissed him and put forth her hand to him, 
seeking somewhat that she might take as a token, but found 
nothing. Then she thrust her hand into his breast and, because of 
the smoothness of his body, it slipped down to his waist and thence 
to his navel and thence to his yard, whereupon her heart ached and 
her vitals quivered and lust was sore upon her, for that the desire 
of women is fiercer than the desire of men, 1 and she was ashamed 
of her own shamelessness. Then she plucked his seal-ring from 
his finger, and put it on her own instead of the ring he had taken, 
and bussed his inner lips and hands, nor did she leave any part 
of him unkissed ; after which she took him to her breast and 
embraced him and, laying one of her hands under his neck and 
the other under his arm-pit, nestled close to him and fell asleep by 

his side And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

to say her permitted say, 

1 This tenet of the universal East is at once fact and unfact. As a generalism assert- 
ing that women's passion is ten times greater than man's (Pilgrimage, ii. 282), it is 
unfact. The world shows that while women have more philoprogenitiveness, men have 
more amativeness ; otherwise the latter would not propose and would nurse the doll and 
baby. Fact, however, in low-lying lands, like Persian Mazanderan versus the Plateau ; 
Indian Malabar compared with Maratha-land ; California as opposed to Utah and 
especially Egypt contrasted with Arabia. In these hot-damp climates the venereal 
requirements and reproductive powers of the female -greatly exceed those of the male ; 
and hence the dissoluteness of morals would be phenomenal, were it not obviated by 
seclusion, the sabre and the revolver. In cold-dry or hot-dry mountainous lands the 
reverse is the case ; hence polygamy there prevails whilst the low countries require 
polyandry in either form, legal or illegal (i.e. prostitution). I have discussed this curious 
point of " geographical morality " (for all morality is, like conscience, both geographical 
and chronological), a subject so interesting to the lawgiver, the student of ethics and the 
anthropologist, in " The City of the Saints." But strange and unpleasant truths progress 
slowly, especially in England. 

2 4 2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Nofo fo&m it foa* t&c ^unfcreU anto 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Princess Budur fell asleep by the side of Kamar al-Zaman, after 
doing that which she did, quoth Maymunah to Dahnash, " Sawst 
thou, O accursed, how proudly and coquettishly my beloved bore 
himself, and how hotly and passionately thy mistress showed 
herself to my dearling ? There can be no doubt that my beloved 
is handsomer than thine ; nevertheless I pardon thee." Then she 
wrote him a document of manumission and turned to Kashkash 
and said, " Go, help Dahnash, to take up his mistress and aid him 
to carry her back to her own place, for the night waneth apace and 
there is but little left of it." " I hear and I obey ;" answered 
Kashkash. So the two Ifrits went forward to Princess Budur and 
upraising her flew away with her ; then, bearing her back to 
her own place, they laid her on her bed, whilst Maymunah abode 
alone with Kamar al-Zaman, gazing upon him as he slept, till the 
night was all but spent, when she went her way. As soon as 
morning morrowed, the Prince awoke from sleep and turned right 
and left, but found not the maiden by him and said in his mind, 
" What is this business ? It is as if my father would incline me to 
marriage with the damsel who was with me and have now taken 
her away by stealth, to the intent that my desire for wedlock may 
redouble." Then he called out to the eunuch who slept at the 
door, saying, " Woe to thee, O damned one, arise at once ! " So 
the eunuch rose, bemused with sleep, and brought him basin and 
ewer, whereupon Kamar al-Zaman entered the water-closet and 
did his need j 1 then, coming out made the Wuzu-ablution and 

1 This morning evacuation is considered, in the East, a sine qu& non of health ; and 
old Anglo-Indians are unanimous in their opinion of the " bari fajar " (as they mis- 
pronounce the dawn- clearance). The natives of India, Hindus (pagans) and Hindis 
(Moslems), unlike Europeans, accustom themselves to evacuate twice a day, evening as 
well as morning. This may, perhaps, partly account for their mildness and effeminacy ; 

C'est la constipation qui rend Thomme rigoureux. 

The English, since the first invasion of cholera, in October, 1831, are a different race 
from their costive grandparents who could not dine without a " dinner-pill." Curious to 
say the clyster is almost unknown to the people of Hindostan although the barbarous 
West Africans use it daily to " wash 'urn belly," as the Bonney-men say. And, as 
Sonnini notes, to propose the process in Egypt under the Beys might have cost a Frankish 
medico his life* 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 243 


prayed the dawn-prayer, after which he sat telling on his beads the 
ninety-and-nine names of Almighty Allah. Then he looked up 
and, seeing the eunuch standing in service upon him, said, u Out on 
thee, O Sawdb ! Who was it came hither and took away the 
young lady from my side and I still sleeping ? " Asked the eunuch, 
U O my lord, what manner of young lady?" " The young lady 
who lay with me last night," replied Kamar al-Zaman. The 
eunuch was startled at his words and said to him, " By Allah, there 
hath been with thee neither young lady nor other ! How should 
young lady have come in to thee, when I was sleeping in the 
doorway and the door was locked ? By Allah, O my lord, neither 
male nor female hath come in to thee ! " Exclaimed the Prince, 
** Thou liest, O pestilent slave ! : is it of thy competence also to 
hoodwink me and refuse to tell me what is become of the young 
lady who lay with me last night and decline to inform me who 
took her away ? " Replied the eunuch (and he was affrighted at 
him), " By Allah, O my lord, I have seen neither young lady nor 
young lord ! " His words only angered Kamar al-Zaman the 
more and he said to him, " O accursed one, my father hath indeed 
taught thee deceit ! Come hither/' So the eunuch came up to 
him, and the Prince took him by the collar and dashed him to the 
ground; whereupon he let fly a loud fart 1 and Kamar al-Zaman, 
kneeling upon him, kicked him and throttled him till he fainted 
away. Then he dragged him forth and tied him to the well-rope, 
and let him down like a bucket into the well and plunged him 
into the water, then drew him up and lowered him down again. 
Now it was hard winter weather, and Kamar al-Zaman ceased not 
to plunge the eunuch into the water and pull him up again and 
douse him and haul him whilst he screamed and called for help ; 
and the Prince kept on saying " By Allah, O damned one, I will 
not draw thee up out of this well till thou tell me and fully 
acquaint me with the story of the young lady and who it was took 

her away, whilst I slept." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

1 The Egyptian author cannot refrain from this characteristic polissonnerie ; and reading 
it out is always followed by a roar of laughter. Even serious writers like Al- Hariri do 
not, as I have noted, despise the indecency. 

244 A if Laylah wa Laylak. 

Jiofo fo&en ft foas tfie ^untoefc an* !Etgf)tBsefont?) 

She said it Hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar 
al-Zaman said to the eunuch, " By Allah ! I will not draw thee 
up out of this well until thou tell me the story of the young lady 
and who it was took her away whilst I slept." Answered the 
eunuch, after he had seen death staring him in the face ; " O my 
lord, let me go and I will relate to thee the truth and the whole 
tale." So Kamar al-Zaman pulled him up out of the well, all 
but dead for suffering, what with cold and the pain of dipping and 
dousing, drubbing and dread of drowning. He shook like cane 
in hurricane, his teeth were clenched as by cramp and his clothes 
were drenched and his body befouled and torn by the rough sides 
of the well : briefly he was in a sad pickle. Now when Kamar 
al-Zaman saw him in this sorry plight, he was concerned for him ; 
but, as soon as the eunuch found himself on the floor, he said to 
him, " O my lord, let me go and doff my clothes and wring them 
out and spread them in the sun to dry, and don others ; after 
which I will return to thee forthwith and tell thee the truth of the 
matter." Answered the Prince, " O rascal slave ! hadst thou not 
-seen death face to face, never hadst thou confessed to fact nor 
told me a word ; but go now and do thy will, and then come back 
to me at once and tell me the truth.!' Thereupon the eunuch 
went out, hardly crediting his escape, and ceased not running, 
stumbling and rising in his haste, till he came in to King Shahriman, 
whom he found sitting at talk with his Wazir of Kamar al-Zaman's 
case. The King was saying to the Minister, " I slept not last 
night, for anxiety concerning my son, Kamar al-Zaman, and 
indeed I fear lest some harm befal him in that old tower. What 
good was there in imprisoning him ? " Answered the Wazir, 
" Have no care for him. By Allah, no harm will befal him ! 
None at all ! Leave him in prison for a month till his temper 
yield and his spirit be broken and he return to his senses." As 
the two spoke behold, up rushed the eunuch, in the aforesaid 
plight, making the King who was troubled at sight of him ; and 
he cried " O our lord the Sultan ! Verily, thy son's wits are fled 
and he hath gone mad ; he hath dealt with me thus and thus, so 
that I am become as thou seest me, and he kept saying : A young 
lady lay with me this night and stole away secretly whilst I slept. 
Where is she ? And he irtsisteth on my letting him know where 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman., 245 

she is and on my telling him who took her away. But I have seen 
neither girl nor boy : the door was locked all through the night, 
for I slept before it with the key under my head, and I opened to 
him in the morning with my own hand. When King Shahriman 
heard this, he cried out, saying, "Alas, my son!;" and he was 
enraged with sore rage against the Wazir, who had been the cause 
of all this case and said to him, " Go up, bring me news of my son 
and see what hath befallen his mind." So the Wazir rose and, 
stumbling over his long skirts, in his fear of the King's wrath, 
hastened with the slave to the tower. Now the sun had risen and 
when the Minister came in to Kamar al-Zaman, he found him 
sitting on the couch reciting the Koran ; so he saluted him and 
seated himself by his side, and said to him, " O my lord, this 
wretched eunuch brought us tidings which troubled and alarmed 
us and which incensed the King." Asked Kamar al-Zaman, " And 
what hath he told you of me to trouble my father ? In good sooth 
he hath troubled none but me." Answered the Wazir, " He came 
to us in fulsome state and told us of thee a thing which Heaven 
forfend ; and the slave added a lie which it befitteth not to repeat, 
Allah preserve thy youth and sound sense and tongue of elo- 
quence, and forbid to come from thee aught of offence ! " Quoth, 
the Prince, " O Wazir, and what thing did this pestilent slave say 
of me ? " The Minister replied, " He told us that thy wits had 
taken leave of thee and thou wouldst have it that a young lady lay 
with thee last night, and thou wast instant with him to tell thee 
whither she went and thou diddest torture him to that end." But 
when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he was enraged with 
sore rage and he said to the Wazir, " 'Tis manifest to me in very 

deed that you people taught the eunuch to do as he did " And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per- 
mitted say. 

Jiofo tofjm it toas tfje f^untorti anfc ffiigfjtfi^igjtj Jitfiiit, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar 
al-Zaman heard the words of the Wazir he was enraged with sore 
rage and said to him, " 'Tis manifest to me in very deed that you 
people taught the eunuch to do as he did and forbade him to tell 
me what became of the young lady who lay with me last night. But 
thou, O Wazir, art cleverer than the eunuch ; so do thou tell me 
without stay or delay, whither went the young lady who slept on my 

1246" ^Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

bosom last night ; for it was you who sent her and bade her sleep 
in my embrace and we lay together till dawn ; but, when I awoke, 
I found her not. So where is she now ? " Said the Wazir, " Q 
my lord Kamar al-Zaman, Allah's name encompass thee about ! 
By the Almighty, we sent none to thee last night, but thou 
layest alone, with the door locked on thee and the eunuch sleeping 
behind it, nor did there come to thee young lady or any other. 
Regain thy reason, O my lord, and stablish thy senses and occupy 
not thy mind with vanities." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman who was 
incensed at his words, "O Wazir, the young lady in question is my 
beloved, the fair one with the black eyes and rosy cheeks, whom I 
held in my arms all last night." So the Minister wondered at his 
words and asked him, " Didst thou see this damsel last night with 
thine own eyes on wake or in sleep ? " Answered Kamar al-Zaman, 
" O ill-omened old man, dost thou fancy I saw her with my ears ? 
Indeed, 1 saw her with my very eyes and awake, and I touched 
her with my hand, and I watched by her full half the night, feeding 
my vision on her beauty and loveliness and grace and tempting 
looks. But you had schooled her and charged her to speak no 
word to me ; so she feigned sleep and I lay by her side till dawn, 
when I awoke and found her gone. 1 " Rejoined the Wazir, " O my 
lord Kamar al-Zaman, haply thou sawest this in thy sleep; it 
must have been a delusion of dreams or a deception caused by 
eating various kinds of food, or a suggestion of the accursed 
devils," Cried the Prince, " O pestilent old man ! wilt thou too 
make a mock of me and tell me this was haply a delusion of 
dreams, when that eunuch confessed to the young lady, saying: 
At once I will return to thee and tell thee all about her ? " With 
these words, he sprang up and rushed at the Wazir and gripped 
hold of his beard (which was long *) and, after gripping it % he 

1 "Long beard and little wits," is a saying throughout the East where the Kausaj 
(=i man with thin, short beard) is looked upon as cunning and tricksy. There is a 
venerable Joe Miller about a schoolmaster who, wishing to singe his long beard short, 
burnt it^off and his face to boot : which reminded him of the sayiog. A thick beard 
is defined as one which wholly conceals the skin ; and in ceremonial ablution it must be 
combed out with the fingers till the water reach the roots. The Sunnat, or practice of 
the Prophet, was to wear the beard not longer than one hand and two fingers' breadth. 
In Persian " Kuseh " (thin-beard) is an insulting term opposed to " Khush-rfsh," a 
well-bearded man. The Iranian growth is perhaps the finest in the world, often extend- 
ing to the waist ; but it gives infinite trouble, requiring, for instance, a bag when 
travelling. The Arab beard is often composed of two tufts on the chin-sides and 
straggling hairs upon the cheeks; and this is a severe mortification, especially to 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman* 247 

twisted his hand in it and haling him off the couch, threw him on 
the floor. It seemed to the Minister as though his soul departed 
his body for the violent plucking at his beard; and Kamar al~ 
Zaman ceased not kicking the Wazir and basting his breast and 
ribs and cuffing him with open hand on the nape of his neck till, he 
had well-nigh beaten him to death. Then said the old man in his 
mind, "Just as the eunuch-slave saved his life from this lunatic youth 
by telling him a lie, thus it is even fitter that I do likewise ; else he. 
will destroy me. So now for my lie to save myself, he being mad 
beyond a doubt." Then he turned to Kamar al-Zaman and said, 
" O my lord, pardon me ; for indeed thy father charged me to con- 
ceal from thee this affair of the young lady ; but now I am weak 
and weary and wounded with tunding ; for I am an old man and 
lack strength and bottom to endure blows. Have, therefore, a little 
patience with me and I will tell thee all and acquaint thee with 
the story of the young woman." When the Prince heard this, he 
left off drubbing him and said, " Wherefore couldst thou not tell 
me the tale until after shame and blows ? Rise now, unlucky old 
man that thou art, and tell me her story." Quoth the Wazir, 
" Say, dost thou ask of the young lady with the fair face and 
perfect form ? " Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, " Even so ! Tell me, 
O Wazir, who it was that led her to me and laid her by my 
side, and who was it that took her away from me by night ; 
and let me know forthright whither she is gone, that I myself 
may go to her at once. If my father did this deed to me that 
he might try me by means of that beautiful girl, with a view to 
our marriage, I consent to wed her and free myself of this trouble; 
for he did all these dealings with me only because I refused wed- 
lock. But now I consent and I say again, I consent to matrimony: 
so tell this to my father, O Wazir, and advise him to marry me to 
that young lady ; for I will have none other and my heart loveth 
none save her alone. Now rise up at once and haste thee to my 

Shaykhs and elders, who not only look upon the beard as one of man's characteristics, 
but attach a religious importance to the appendage. Hence the enormity of Kamar al 
Zaman's behaviour. The Persian festival of the vernal equinox was called Kuseh- 
nishfn (Thin-beard sitting). An old man with one eye paraded the streets on an ass 
with a crow in one hand and a scourge and fan in the other, cooling himself, flogging the 
bystanders and crying heat ! heat ! (garma 1 garma !). For other particulars see 
Richardson (Dissertation, p. Hi.). This is the Italian Giorno delle Veccbie, Thursday 
in Mid- Lent, March 12 (1885), celebrating the death of Winter and the birth of 

Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

father and counsel him to hurry on our wedding and bring me his 
answer within this very hour." Rejoined the Wazir, "'Tis well ! " 
and went forth from him, hardly believing himself out of his hands. 
Then he set off from the tower, walking and tripping up as he 
went, for excess of fright and agitation, and he ceased not hurry- 
ing till he came in to King Shahriman. And Shahrazad per- 
ceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jlofo foijen it foas rfje ^tintae* anto lEigitg-nmtf) Jiigjt, 

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wazir 
fared forth from the tower, and ceased not running till he came in 
to King Shahriman, who said to him as he sighted him, " O thou 
Wazir, what man hath brought thee to grief and whose mischief 
hath treated thee in way unlief ; how happeneth it that I see thee 
dumb-foundered and coming to me thus astounded?" Replied 
the Wazir, " O King ! I bring thee good news." " And what is 
it ? " quoth Shariman, and quoth the Wazir, " Know that thy son 
Kamar al-Zaman's wits are clean gone and that he hath become 
stark mad." Now when the King heard these words of the Mini- 
ster, light became darkness in his sight and he said, " O Wazir, 
make clear to me the nature of his madness." Answered the 
Wazir, "O my lord, I hear and I obey." Then he told him that 
such and such had passed and acquainted him with all that his son 
had done ; whereupon the King said to him, " Hear, O Wazir, the 
good tidings which I give thee in return for this thy fair news of 
my son's insanity ; and it shall be the cutting off of thy head and 
the forfeiture of my favour, O most ill-omened of Wazirs and 
foulest of Emirs ! for I feel that thou hast caused my son's dis- 
order by the wicked advice and the sinister counsel thou hast 
given me first and last. By Allah, if aught of mischief or madness 
have befallen my son I will most assuredly nail thee upon the 
palace-dome and make thee drain the bitterest draught of death !" 
Then he sprang up and, taking the Wazir with him, fared straight 
for the tower and entered it. And when Kamar al-Zaman saw 
the two, he rose to his father in haste from the couch whereon he 
sat and kissing his hands drew back and hung down his head and 
stood before him with his arms behind him, and thus remained for 
a full hour. Then he.raised his head towards his sire ; the tears 
gushed from tns eyes^and streamed down his cheeks and he began 
repeating : 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 249 

* Forgive the sin 'neath which my limbs are trembling, 
For the slave seeks for mercy from his master ; 
I've done a fault, which calls for free confession, 
Where shall it call for mercy, ard forgiveness ?" 

When the King heard this, he arose and embraced his son, and 
kissing him between the eyes, made him sit by his side on the 
couch ; then he turned to the Wazir and, looking on him with 
eyes of wrath, said, " O dog of Wazirs, how didst thou say of 
my son such and such things and make my heart quake for 
him ? " Then he turned to the Prince and said, " O my son, what 
is to-day called ? " He answered, " O my father, this day is the 
Sabbath, and to-morrow is First day: then come Second day, 
Third, Fourth, Fifth day and lastly Friday." 2 Exclaimed the 
King, " O my son, O Kamar al-Zaman, praised be Allah for the 
preservation of thy reason ! What is the present month called in 
our Arabic ? " " Zu'1-Ka'adah," answered Kamar al-Zaman, " and 
it is followed by Zu'1-hijjah ; then cometh Muharram, then Safar, 
then Rabf'a the First and Rabf'a the Second, the two Jamddas, 
Rajab, Shaaban, Ramazan and Shawwal." At this the King- 
rejoiced exceedingly and spat in the Wazir's face, saying, "O 
wicked old man, how canst thou say that my son is mad ? And 
now none is mad but thou." Hereupon the Minister shook his 
head and would have spoken, but bethought himself to wait awhile 
and see what might next befal. Then the King said to his child, 
" O my son, what words be these thou saidest to the eunuch and 
the Wazir, declaring : I was sleeping with a fair damsel this 
night ? 3 What damsel is this of whom thou speakest ? " Then 
Kamar al-Zaman laughed at his father's words and replied, " O 
my father, know that I can bear no more jesting ; so add me not 
another mock or even a single word on the matter, for my temper 
hath waxed short by that you have done with me. And know, O 
my father, with assured knowledge, that I consent to marry, but 
on condition that thou give me to wife her who lay by my side 
this night ; for I am certain it was thou sentest her to me and 

1 I quote Torrens (p. 400) as these lines have occurred in Night xxxviii. 

2 Moslems have only two names for week days, Friday, Al-Jum'ah or meeting-day, and 
Al-Sabt, Sabbath-day, that is Saturday. The others are known by numbers after Quaker 
fashion with us, the usage of Portugal and Scandinavia. 

* Our last night. 

2 SO A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

madest me in love with her and then despatchedst a message to 
her before the dawn and tookest her away from beside me." Re- 
joined the King, "The name of Allah encompass thee about, 
O my son, and be thy wit preserved from witlessness ! " - 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

Nofo fofjtn tt foas tje juntos an& ^TinetietS 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth King 
Shahriman to his son Kamar al-Zaman, " The name of Allah en- 
compass thee about, O my son, and be thy wit preserved from 
witlessness ! What thing be this young lady whom thou fanciest I 
sent to thee last night and then again that I sent to withdraw her 
from thee before dawn ? By the Lord, O my son, I know nothing 
of this affair, and Allah upon thee, tell me if it be a delusion of 
dreaming or a deception caused by indisposition. For verily thou 
layest down to sleep last night with thy mind occupied anent 
marriage and troubled with the talk of it (Allah damn marriage 
and the hour when I spake of it and curse him who counselled it !) ; 
and without doubt or diffidence I can say that being moved in 
mind by the mention of wedlock thou dreamedst that a handsome 
young lady embraced thee and didst fancy thou sawest her when 
awake. But all this, O my son, is but an imbroglio of dreams." 
Replied Kamar al-Zaman, " Leave this talk and swear to me by 
Allah, the All-creator, the Omniscient ; the Humbler of the tyrant 
Caesars and the Destroyer of the Chosroes, that thou knowest 
naught of the young lady nor of her woning-place." Quoth the 
King, " By the Might of Allah Almighty, the God of Moses and 
Abraham, I know naught of all this and never even heard of it ; 
it is assuredly a delusion of dreams thou hast seen in sleep." 
Then the Prince replied to his sire, " I will give thee a self-evident 
proof that it happened to me when on wake." -- And Shahrazad 
perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&m it foas tl)e ^untncefc an* Nmetg-first Ni$t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar 
al-Zaman said to his sire, * I will give thee a self-evident proof that 
this happened to me when on wake. Now let me ask thee, did it 
ever befal any man to dream that he was battling a sore battle and 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 251 

after to awake from sleep and find in his hand a sword-blade be- 
smeared with blood ? Answered the King, " No, by Allah, O my 
son, this hath never been." Rejoined Kamar al-Zaman, " I will 
tell thee what happened to me and it was this. Meseemed I 
awoke from sleep in the middle of the past night and found a girl 
lying by my side, whose form was like mine and whose favour was 
as mine. I embraced her and turned her about with my hand and 
took her seal-ring, which I put on my finger, and she pulled off 
my ring and put it on hers. Then I wen* to sleep by her side, 
but refrained from her for shame of thee, -'deeming that thou hadst 
sent her to me, intending to tempt me with her and incline me to 
marriage, and suspecting thee to be hidden somewhere whence 
thou couldst see what I did with her. And I was ashamed even 
to kiss her on the mouth for thy account, thinking over this temp- 
tation to wedlock ; and, when I awoke at point of day, I found no 
trace of her, nor could I come at any news of her, and there befel 
me what thou knowest of with the eunuch and with the Wazir. 
How then can this case have been a dream and a delusion, when 
the ring is a reality ? Save for her ring on my finger I should 
indeed have deemed it a dream ; but here is the ring on my little 
finger : look at it, O King, and see what is its worth." So saying, 
he handed the ring to his father, who examined it and turned it 
over, then looked to his son and said, " Verily, there is in this ring 
some mighty mystery and some strange secret. What befel thee 
last night with the girl is indeed a hard nut to crack, and I know 
not how intruded upon us this intruder. None is the cause of all 
this pother save the Wazir ; but, Allah upon thee, O my son, take 
patience, so haply the Lord may turn to gladness this thy grief 
and to thy sadness bring complete relief: as quoth one of the 
poets : 

Haply shall Fortune draw her rein, and bring o Fair chance, for she is 

changeful, jealous, vain : 
Still I may woo my want and wishes win, o And see on heels of care 

unfain, the fain. 

And now, O my son, I am certified at this hour that thou art not 
mad ; but thy case is a strange one which none can clear up for 
thee save the Almighty." Cried the Prince, " By Allah, O my 
father, deal kindly with me and seek out this young lady and 
hasten her coming to me ; else I shall die of woe and of my death 
shall no one know." Then he betrayed the ardour of his passion ; 
and turned towards his father and repeated these two couplets: 

A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

If your promise of personal call prove untrue, o Deign in vision to grant 

me an interview : 
Quoth they, "How can phantom 1 appear to the sight o Of a youth, whose sight 

is fordone, perdue ?" 

Then, after ending his poetry, Kamar al-Zaman again turned to 
his father, with submission and despondency, and shedding tears 

in flood, began repeating these lines And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&cn it foas rtje ^untorrtr anto tNTttutp^ecotrtj 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Kamar al-Zaman had repeated to his father these verses, he wept 
and complained and groaned from a wounded heart ; and added 
these lines.: 

Beware that eye-glance which hath magic might; o Wherever turn those 

orbs it bars our flight : 
Nor be deceived by low sweet voice, that breeds o A fever festering in the 

heart and sprite : 

So soft that silky skin, were rose to touch it o She'd cry and tear- 
drops rain for pain and fright : 
Did Zephyr e'en in sleep pass o'er her land, o Scented he'd choose to 

dwell in scented site : 
Her necklets vie with tinkling of her belt ; o Her wrists strike either" 

wristlet dumb with spite : 
When would her bangles buss those rings in ear, o Upon the lover's eyne 

high mysteries 'light : 
I'm blamed for love of her, nor pardon claim ; o Eyes are not profiting 

which lack foresight : 
Heaven strip thee, blamer mine ! unjust art thou ; o Before this fawn must 

every eye low bow. a 

1 Arab. "Tayf" == phantom, the nearest approach to our "ghost,*' that queer 
remnant of Fetishism imbedded in Christianity ; the phantasma, the shade (not the 
soul) of the dead. Hence the accurate Niebuhr declares, "apparitions ('*., of the 
departed) are unknown in Arabia." Haunted houses are there tenanted by Ghuls, 
Jinns and a host of supernatural creatures ; but not by ghosts proper ; and a man may 
live years in Arabia before he ever hears of the " Tayf." With the Hindus it is other- 
wise (Pilgrimage iii. 144.) Yet the ghost, the embodied fear of the dead and of death 
is common, in a greater or less degree, to all peoples ; and, as modern Spiritualism 
proves, that ghost is not yet laid. 

2 Mr. Payne (iii. 133,) omits the lines which are Apropos de rien and read much like 
" nonsense verses." I retain them simply because tbey are in (be text. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 

After which he said, " By Allah, O my father, I cannot endure 
to be parted from her even for an hour." The King smote hand 
upon hand and exclaimed, " There is no Majesty and there is no 
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! No cunning con- 
trivance can profit us in this affair." Then he took his son by 
the hand and carried him to the palace, where Kamar al-Zaman 
lay down on the bed of languor and the King sat at his head, 
weeping and mourning over him and leaving him not, night or 
day, till at last the Wazir came in to him and said, " O King 1 
of the age and the time, how long wilt thou remain shut up with 
thy son and hide thyself from thy troops ? Haply, the order of 
thy realm may be deranged, by reason of thine absence from thy 
Grandees and Officers of State. It behoveth the man of under- 
standing, if he have various wounds in his body, to apply him 
first to medicine the most dangerous ; so it is my counsel to thee 
that thou remove thy son from this place to the pavilion which is 
Id the palace overlooking the sea ; and shut thyself up with him 
there, setting apart in every week two days, Thursday and Monday, 
for state receptions and progresses and reviews. On these days 
let thine Emirs and Wazirs and Chamberlains and Viceroys and 
high Officials and Grandees of the realm and the rest of the levies 
and the lieges have access to thee and submit their affairs to thee ; 
and do thou their needs and judge among them and give and take 
with them and bid and forbid. And the rest of the week thou 
shalt pass with thy son, Kamar al-Zaman, and cease not thus doing 
till Allah shall vouchsafe relief to you twain. Think not, O King, 
that thou art safe from the shifts of Time and the strokes of Change 
which come like a traveller in the night ; for the wise man is ever 
on his guard and how well saith the poet : 

..Thou deemedst well of Time when days went well, o And fearedst not what 

ills might bring thee Fate : 
The Nights so fair and restful cozened thee, o For peaceful Nights 

bring woes of heavy weight. 
Oh children of mankind whom Time befriends, o Beware of Time's deceiti 

or soon or late ! ' 

When the Sultan heard his Wazir's words he saw that they were 
right and deemed his counsel wise, and it had effect upon him for 
he feared lest the order of the state be deranged ; so he rose at 

* The first two couplets we the quatrain (or octave) in Wight xxxv. 

254 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

once and bade transport his son from his sick room to the pavilion 
in the palace overlooking the sea, Now this palace was girt 
round by the waters and was approached by a causeway twenty 
cubits wide. It had windows on all sides commanding an ocean- 
view; its floor was paved with parti-coloured marbles and its 
ceiling was painted in the richest pigments and figured with gold 
and lapis-lazuli. They furnished it for Kamar al-Zaman with 
splendid upholstery, embroidered rugs and carpets of the richest 
silk ; and they clothed the walls with choice brocades and hung 
curtains bespangled with gems of price. In the midst they set 
him a couch of juniper-wood inlaid with pearls and jewels, and 
Kamar al-Zaman sat down thereon, but the excess of his concern 
and passion for the young lady had wasted his charms and emaciated 
his body; he could neither eat nor drink nor sleep; and he 
was like a man who had been sick twenty years of sore sickness. 
His father seated himself at his head, grieving for him with the 
deepest grief, and every Monday and Thursday he gave his Wazirs 
and Emirs and Chamberlains and Viceroys and Lords of the realm 
and levies and the rest of his lieges leave to come up to him in 
that pavilion. So they entered and did their several service and 
duties and abode with him till the end of the day, when they went 
their ways and the King returned to his son in the pavilion whom 
he left not night nor day ; and he ceased not doing on this wise 
for many days and nights. Such was the case with Kamar 
al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman ; but as regards Princess 
Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seven 
Palaces, when the two Jinns bore her up and laid her on her bed,' 
she slept till daybreak, when she awoke and sitting upright 
looked right and left, but saw not the youth who had Iain in her 
bosom. At this her vitals fluttered, her reason fled and she 
shrieked a loud shriek which awoke all her slave-girls and nurses 
and duennas. They flocked in to her; and the chief of them 
came forward and asked, " What aileth thee, O my lady ? " 
Answered the Princess, " O wretched old woman, where is my 
beloved, the handsome youth who lay last night in my bosom ? 
Tell me whither he is gone." Now when the duenna heard this, 
the light starkened in her sight and she feared from her mischief 
with sore affright, and said to her, " O my Lady Budur, what 

1 Arab. " Ar'ar," the Heb. " Aroer," which Luther and the A. V. translate "heatb.** 
The modern Aramaic name is " Lizzab " (Unexplored Syria, i. 68). 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 255 

unseemly words are these ? " Cried the Princess, " Woe to thee, 
pestilent crone that thou art! I ask thee again where is my 
beloved, the goodly youth with the shining face and the slender 
form, the jetty eyes and the joined eyebrows, who lay with me 
last night from supper-tide until near daybreak ? " She rejoined, 
" By Allah, O my lady, I have seen no young man nor any other. 
I conjure thee, carry not this unseemly jest too far lest we all lose 
our lives ; for perhaps the joke may come to thy father's ears and 

who shall then deliver us from his hand ? " And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

ft foas t&e $^unt)tE& ant* jainetg-rtjt'tfj 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the duenna 
bespake the Lady Budur in these words, " Allah upon thee, O my 
lady! carry not this unseemly jest too far; for perhaps it may come 
to thy father's ears, and who shall then deliver us from his hand ? " 
The Princess rejoined, " In very sooth a youth lay with me last 
night, one of the fairest-faced of men." Exclaimed the duenna, 
" Heaven preserve thy reason ! indeed no one lay with thee last 
night." Thereupon the Princess looked at her hand and, finding 
Kamar al-Zaman's seal-ring on her finger in stead of her own, said 
to her, <l Woe to thee, thou accursed ! thou traitress ! wilt thou lie 
to me and tell me that none lay with me last night and swear to 
me a falsehood in the name of the Lord ? " Replied the duenna, 
" By Allah, I do not lie to thee nor have I sworn falsely." Then 
the Princess was incensed by her words and, drawing a sword she 
had by her, she smote the old woman with it and slew her ; l 
whereupon the eunuch and the waiting-women and the concubines 
cried out at her, and ran to her father and, without stay or delay, 
acquainted him with her case. So the King went to her, and asked 
her, " O my daughter, what aileth thee ? "; and she answered, 
" O my father, where is the youth who lay with me last night ? " 
Then her reason fled from her head and she cast her eyes right 
and left and rent her raiment even to the skirt. When her sire 
saw this, he bade the women lay hands on her ; so they seized 
her and manacled her, then putting a chain of iron about her 

1 In the old version and the Bresl. Edit. (iii. 220) the Princess beats the Kahramdnah/* 
but does not kill her. 

256 A If Lay I ah wa Lay la k. 

neck, made her fast to one of the palace- windows and there left 
her. 1 - Thus far concerning Princess Budur; but as regards her 
father, King Ghayur, the world was straitened upon him when he 
saw what had befallen his daughter, for that he loved her and her 
case was not a little grievous to him. So he summoned on it the 
doctors and astrologers and men skilled in talisman-writing and 
said to them, " Whoso healeth my daughter of what ill she hath, 
I will marry him to her and give him half of my kingdom ; but 
whoso cometh to her and cureth her not, I will strike off his head 
and hang it over her palace-gate." Accordingly, all who went in to 
her, but failed to heal her, he beheaded and hung their heads over 
the palace-gates, till he had beheaded on her account forty doctors 
and crucified forty astrologers ; wherefor the general held aloof 
from her, all the physicians having failed to medicine her malady ; 
and her case was a puzzle to the men of science and the adepts in 
cabalistic characters. And as her longing and passion redoubled 
and love and distraction were sore upon her, she poured forth 
tears and repeated these couplets :-^ 

My fondness, O my moon, for thee my foeman is, o And to thy comrade- 
ship the nights my thought compel : 

In gloom I bide with fire that flames below my ribs, o Whose lowe I make 
, comparison with heat of H ell : 

I'm plagued with sorest stress of pine and ecstasy ; o Nor clearest noon- 
tide can that horrid pain dispel. 

Then she sighed and repeated these also : 

Salams fro' me to friends in every stead ; o Indeed to all dear friends do I 

incline : 
Salams, but not salams that bid adieu ; o Salams that growth of good for 

you design : 
I love you dear, indeed, nor less your land, o But bide I far from every need of 

mine ! 

And when the lady Budur ceased repeating her poetry, she wept 
till her eyes waxed sore and her cheeks changed form and hue, 
and in this condition she continued three years. Now she had a 
foster-brother, by name Marzawan, 2 who was travelling in far 

1 This is still the popular Eastern treatment of the insane. 

2 Pers. Marz-bdn = Warden of the Marches, Margrave. The foster-brother in the 
East is held dear as, and often dearer than, kith and kin. 

Tak of Kamar al-Zaman. 257 

lands and absent from her the whole of this time. He loved her 
with an exceeding love, passing the love of brothers ; so when he 
came back he went in to his mother and asked for his sister, the 
Princess Budur. She answered him, " O my son, thy sister hath 
been smitten with madness and hath passed these three years 
with a chain of iron about her neck ; and all the physicians and 
men of science have failed of healing her." When Marzawan 
heard these words he said, " I must needs go in to her ; perad- 
venture I may discover what she hath, and be able to medicine 
her;" and his mother replied, "Needs must thou visit her, but 
wait till to-morrow, that I may contrive some thing to suit thy 
case." Then she went a-foot to the palace of the Lady Budur and, 
accosting the eunuch in charge of the gates, made him a present 
and said to him, " I have a daughter, who was brought up with 
thy mistress and since then I married her ; and, when that befel 
the Princess which befel her, she became troubled and sore con- 
cerned, and I desire of thy favour that my daughter may go in to 
her for an hour and look on. her ; and then return whence she came, 
so shall none know of it." Quoth the eunuch, " This may not be 
except by night, after the King hath visited his child and gone 
away ; then come thou and thy daughter." So she kissed the 
eunuch's hand and, returning home, waited till the morrow at 
nightfall ; and when it was time she arose and sought her son 
Marzawan and attired him in woman's apparel ; then, taking his 
hand in hers, led him towards the palace, and ceased not walking 
with him till she came upon the eunuch after the Sultan had ended 
his visit to the Princess. Now when the eunuch saw her, he rose 
to her, and said, " Enter, but do not prolong thy stay ! " So they 
went in and when Marzawan beheld the Lady Budur in the afore- 
said plight, he saluted her, after his mother had doffed his woman's 
garb : then he took out of their satchel books he had brought 
with him ; and, lighting a wax-candle, he began to recite certain 
conjurations. Thereupon the Princess looked at him and recognis- 
ing him, said, " O my brother, thou hast been absent on thy 
travels, and thy news have been cut off from us." He replied, 
" True ! but Allah hath brought me back safe and sound, I am now 
minded to set out again nor hath aught delayed me but the news 
I hear of thee ; wherefore my heart burned for thee and I came 
to thee, so haply I may free thee of thy malady." She rejoined, 
41 O my brother, thinkest thou it is madness aileth me ? " " Yes," 

258 Atf Laylah wa Laylah. 

answered he, and she said, ' Not so, by Allah ! 'tis even as saith 
the poet : 

Quoth they "Thou rav'st on him thou lov r st : quoth I," o "The sweets of love 

are only for th' insane ! " 
Love never maketh Time his friend befriend; o Only the Jinn -struck 

wight such boon can gain : 
Well ! yes, I'm mad : bring him who madded me o And, if he cure my 

madness, blame restrain ! 

Then she let Marzawan know that she was love-daft and he said, 
" Tell me concerning thy tale and what befel thee : haply there 
may be in my hand something which shall be a means of de- 
liverance for thee." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased saying her permitted say. 


Nofo foften it foas tfa f^unbrefc anU Ntntg=fourt6 Nfgftt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Marzawan 
thus addressed Princess Budur, " Tell me concerning thy tale and 
what befel thee : haply Allah may inspire me with a means of 
deliverance for thee." Quoth she, " O my brother, hear my story 
which is this. One night I awoke from sleep, in the last third of 
the night 1 and, sitting up, saw by my side the handsomest of 
youths that be, and tongue faileth to describe him, for he was as a 
willow-wand or an Indian rattan-cane. So methought it was my 
father who had done on this wise in order thereby to try me, for 
that he had consulted me concerning wedlock, when the Kings 
sought me of him to wife, and I had refused. It was this thought 
withheld me from arousing him, for I feared that, if I did aught or 
embraced him, he would peradventure inform my father of my 
doings. But in the morning, I found on my finger his seal-ring, in 
place of my own which he had taken. And, O my brother, my 
heart was seized with love of him at first sight ; and, for the 
violence of my passion and longing, I have never savoured the 
taste of sleep and have no occupation save weeping alway and 
repeating verses night and day. And this, O my brother, is my 

Post mediam noctern visus, quum somnia vera. 

(Horace Sat. i 10, 33.) 

The moderns believe most ia 

Tale of Kamar al-Zani&n. 259 

story and the cause of my madness." Then she poured forth tears 
and repeated these couplets : 

"Now Love hast banished all that bred delight; o With that heart-nibbling 

fawn my joys took flight : 
Lightest of trifles lover's "blood to him o Who wastes the vitals 

of the hapless wight ! 
For him I'm jealous of my sight and thouglit ; o My heart acts spy upon 

my thought and sight : 
Those long-lashed eyelids rain on me their shafts </ Guileful, destroying hearts 

where'er they light : 
Now, while my portion in the world endures, o Shall I behold him ere I 

quit world-site? 
What bear I for his sake I'd hide, but tears o Betray my feelings to the 

spy's despight. 
When near, our union seemeth ever far ; o When far, my thoughts to 

him aye nearest are." 

And presently she continued, " See then, O my brother, how thou 
fnayest aid me in mine affliction." So Marzawan bowed his head 
ground-wards awhile, wondering and not knowing what to do> 
then he raised it and said to her, " All thou hast spoken to me I 
hold to be true, though the case of the young man pass my under- 
standing : but I will go round about all lands and will seek for 
what may heal thee ; haply Allah shall appoint thy healing to be- 
at my hand. Meanwhile, take patience and be not disquieted.'* 
Thereupon Marzawan farewelled her, praying that she might be 
constant and left her repeating these couplets : 

Thine image ever companies my sprite, o For all thou'rt distant from the 

pilgrim's sight : 
But my heart-wishes e'er attract thee near : o What is the lightning's speed to 

Thought's swift flight ? 
Then go not thou, my very light of eyes o Which, when thou'rt gone, lack 

all the Kohl of light. 

Then Marzawan returned to his mother's house, where he passed 
the night. And when the morrow dawned, having equipped him- 
self for his journey, he fared forth and ceased not faring from city 
to city and from island to island for a whole month, till he came to 
a town named Al-Tayrab. 1 Here he went about scenting news of 
the townsfolk, so haply he might light on a cure for the Princess's 
malady, for in every capital he entered or passed by, it was reported 

1 The Bresl. Edit. (iii. 223) and Galland have " Torf ; " Lane (ii. 115) ' El-Tar, tt 

Alf Laylak iva Laylak. 

that Queen Budur, daughter of King Ghayur, had lost her wits. 
But arriving at Al-Tayrab city, he heard that Kamar al-Zaman, 
son of King Shahriman, was fallen sick and afflicted with melan- 
choly madness. So Marzawan asked the name of the Prince's 
capital and they said to him, " It is on the Islands of Khalidan 
and it lieth distant from our city a whole month's journey by sea,, 
but by land it is six months' march.'* So he went down to the sea 
in a ship which was bound for the Khalidan Isles, and she sailed 
with a favouring breeze for a whole month, till they came in sight 
of the capital ; and there remained for .them but to make the land 
when, behold, there came out on them a tempestuous wind which 
carried away the masts and rent the canvas, so that the sails fell 

into the sea and the ship capsized, with all on board, And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

Nofo fojen it foas t&e ^unfcrrti an* Nmetg-fiftf) Nt' 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
ship capsized with all on board, each sought his own safety ; and 
as for Marzawan the set of the sea carried him under the King's 
palace, wherein was Kamar al-Zaman. And by the decree of 
destiny it so happened that this was the day on which King 
Shahriman gave audience to his Grandees and high officers, and 
he was sitting, with his son's head on his lap, whilst an eunuch 
fanned away the flies ; and the Prince had not spoken neither 
had he eaten nor drunk for two days, and he was grown thinner 
than a spindle. 1 Now the Wazir was standing respectfully a-foot 
near the latticed window giving on the sea and, raising his eyes, 
saw Marzawan being beaten by the billows and at his last gasp ; 
whereupon his heart was moved to pity for him, so he drew near 
to the King and moving his head towards him said, " I crave thy 
leave, O King, to go down to the court of the pavilion and open 
the water-gate that I may rescue a man who, is at the point oC 
drowning in the sea and bring him forth of danger into deliver* 
ance ; peradventure, on this account Allah may free thy son from 
what he hath!" The King replied, " O thou Wazir, enough is 

1 Arab. <c Maghzal ; f ' a more favourite comparison is with a tooth-pick. Both are 
used .by Kizami and Al' Hariri,, the most " elegant ** of Arab writers, 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman: 

'that which hath befallen my son through thee and on thine 
account. Haply, if thou rescue this drowning man, he will come 
to know our affairs, and look on my son who is in this state and 
exult over me ; but I swear by Allah, that if this half-drowned 
wretch come hither and learn our condition and look upon my 
son and then fare forth and speak of our secrets to any, I will 
assuredly strike off thy head before his ; for thou, O my Minister, 
art the cause of all that hath betided us, first and last. Now do 
as thou wilt." Thereupon the Wazir sprang tip and, opening 
che private postern which gave upon the sea, descended to the 
causeway ; then walked on twenty steps and came to the water 
where he saw Marzawan nigh unto death. So he put out his 
hand to him and, catching him by his hair, drew him ashore in 
a state of insensibility, with belly full of water and eyes half out 
of his head. The Wazir waited till he came to himself, when he 
pulled off his wet clothes and clad him in a fresh suit, covering 
his head with one of his servants' turbands ; after which he said 
to him, " Know that I have been the means of saving thee from 
drowning : do not thou requite me by causing my death and thine 

own." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

Koto toften it toas tfje ^unfciEli anfc Nintg-*fxt( 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Wazir did to Marzawan what he did, he thus addressed him, 
" Know that I have been the cause of saving thee from drowning, 
so requite me not by causing my death and thine own." Asked 
Marzawan, " And how so ?"; and the Wazir answered, " Thou art 
at this hour about to go up and pass among Emirs and Wazirs, 
all of them silent and none speaking, because of Kamar al-Zaman, 
the son of the Sultan." Now when Marzawan heard the name of 
Kamar al-Zaman, he knew that this was he whom he had heard 
spoken of in sundry cities and of whom he came in search, but 
he feigned ignorance and asked the Wazir, " And who is Kamar 
al-Zaman ? " Answered the Minister, " He is the son of Sultan 
Shahnman and he is sore sick and lieth strown on his couch rest- 
less alway, eating not nor drinking neither sleeping night or day ; 
indeed he is nigh upon death and we have lost hope of his living 
and are certain that he is dying. Beware lest thou look too long 

262 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

on him, of thou look on any place other than that where thou 
settest thy feet : else thou art a lost man, and I also." He replied, 
"Allah upon thee, O Wazir, I implore thee, of thy favour, acquaint 
me touching this youth thou describest, what is the cause of the 
condition in which he is." The Wazir replied, " I know none, 
save that, three years ago, his father required him to wed, but he 
refused ; whereat the King was wroth and imprisoned him. And 
when he awoke on the morrow, he fancied that during the night 
he had been roused from sleep and had seen by his side a young 
lady of passing loveliness, whose charms tongue can never express ; 
and he assured us that he had plucked off her seal-ring from her 
finger and had put it on his own and that she had done likewise ; 
but we know not the secret of all this business. So by Allah, O 
my son, when thou comest up with me into the palace, look not 
on the Prince, but go thy way ; for the Sultan's heart is full of 
wrath against me." So said Marzawan to himself, " By Allah ; 
this is the one I sought ! " Then he followed the Wazir up to the 
palace, where the Minister seated himself at the Prince's feet; but 
Marzawan found forsooth nothing to do but go up to Kamar al- 
Zaman and stand before him at gaze. Upon this the Wazir died 
of affright in his skin, and kept looking at Marzawan and signal* 
.ling him to wend his way; but he feigned not to see him and gave 
not over gazing upon Kamar al-Zaman, till he was well assured 

that it was indeed he whom he was seeking, And Shahrazad 

perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fojjen it foas tfje f^utrttrti anU Niiutg-gebentf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Mar- 
zawan looked upon Kamar al-Zaman and knew that it was indeed 
he whom he was seeking, he cried, " Exalted be Allah, Who hath 
made his shape even as her shape and his complexion as her 
complexion and his cheek as her cheek ! " Upon this Kamar 
.al-Zaman opened his eyes and gave earnest ear to his speech ; 
and, when Marzawan saw him inclining to hear, he repeated these 
couplets * : 

1 These form a Kasidah, Ode or Elegy = rhymed couplets numbering more than 
thirteen : if shorter it is called a " Ghazal." I have not thought it necessary to pre- 
serve the monorhyme. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 263 

I see thee full of song and plaint and love's own ecstasy ; 
Delighting in describing all the charms of loveliness : 

Art smit by stroke of Love or hath shaft-shot wounded thee ? 
None save the wounded ever show such signals of distress ! 

Ho thou ! crown the wine-cup and sing me singular 
Praises to Sulaymd, Al-Rabb, Tan'oum addrest; * 

Go round the grape-vine sun 2 which for mansion hath a jar ; 
Whose East the cup-boy is, and here my mouth that opes for West 

I'm jealous of the very clothes that dare her sides enroll 
When she veils her dainty body of the delicatest grace : 

I envy every goblet of her lips that taketh toll, 

When she sets the kissing-cup on that sweetest kissing-place. 

But deem not by the keen-edged scymitar I'm slain 
The hurts and harms I dree are from arrows of her eyes. 

I found her finger-tips, as I met her once again, 
Deep-reddened with the juice of the wood that ruddy dyes ; 8 

And cried, " Thy palms thou stainedst when far away was I 
And this is how thou payest one distracted by his pine ! " 

Quoth she (enkindling in my heart a flame that burned high 
Speaking as one who cannot hide of longing love the sign), 

*' By thy life, this is no dye used for dyeing ; so forbear 
Thy blame, nor in charging me with falsing Love persist ! " 

" But when upon our parting-day I saw thee haste to fare, 
The while were bared my hand and my elbow and my wrist ; " 

K I shed a flood of blood-red tears and with fingers brushed away ; 
Hence blood-reddened were the tips and still blood-red they remain," 

Had I wept before she wept, to my longing-love a prey, 
Before repentance came, I had quit my soul of pain ; 

1 Sulayma dim. of Salma = any beautiful woman : Rabab = the viol mostly single- 
stringed : Tan'oum =: she who is soft and gentle. These fictitious names are for his old 

2 i.e. wine. The distich is highly fanciful and the conceits would hardly occur to a 

3 Arab. " Andam,'* a term applied to Brazil-wood (also called " Bakkam ") and to 
** dragon's blood," but not, I think, to tragacanth, the "goat's thorn," which does not 
dye. Andam is often mentioned in The Nights. 

264 Alf Laytak wa Laylak. 

But she wept before I wept and I wept to see her care 
And I said, " All the merit appertains to precedent ; ni 

Blame me not for loving her ; now on self of Love I swear 
For her sake, for her only, these pains my soul torment. 

She hath all the lere of Lukman 2 and Yusuf s beauty lief; 
Sweet singer David's voice and Maryam's chastity : 

While I've all Jacob's mourning and Jonah's prison-grie 
And the sufferings of Job and old Adam's history : 

Yet kill her not, albeit of my love for her I die ; 

But ask her why my blood to her was lawful, ask her why ? 

When Marzawan recited this ode, the words fell upon Kamar 
al-Zaman's heart as freshness after fever and returning health ; 
and he sighed and, turning his tongue in his mouth, said to his 

sire, " O my father, let this youth come and sit by my side." 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn o day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

Nofo fojen ft foas tfje J^unlitrti an* Nuutg-efgjtf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar 
al-Zaman said to his sire, " O my father, allow this youth to come 
and sit by my side." Now when the King heard these words 
from his son, he rejoiced with exceeding joy, though at the first 
his heart had been set against Marzawan and he had determined 
that the stranger's head needs must be stricken off : but when he 
heard Kamar al-Zaman speak, his anger left him and he arose and 
drawing Marzawan to him, seated him by his son and turning to 
him said, " Praised be Allah for thy safety ! " He replied, " Allah 
preserve thee ! and preserve thy son to thee ! " and called down 
blessings on the King. Then the King asked, " From what 
country art thou ?"; and he answered, " From the Islands of the 
Inland Sea, the kingdom of King Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and 
the Seas and the Seven Palaces." Quoth King Shahriman, 

1 The superior merit of the first (explorer, etc.) is a lieu commun with Arabs. So 
Al-Hariri in Preface quotes his predecessor : 

Justly of praise the price I pay ; 
The praise is his who leads the way. 
a There were two Lukmans, of whom more in a future page. 

Tale of Kamw al-Zaman. 265 

" Maybe thy coming shall be blessed to my son and Allah vouch- 
safe to heal what is in him." Quoth Marzawan, " Inshallah, 
naught shall be save what shall be well !" Then turning to Kamar 
al-Zaman, he said to him in his ear unheard of the King and his 
court, " O my lord ! be of good cheer, and hearten thy heart and 
let thine eyes be cool and clear and, with respect to her for whose 
sake thou art thus, ask not of her case on thine account. But 
thou keptest thy secret and fellest sick, while she told her secret 
and they said she had gone mad ; so she is now in prison, with an 
iron chain about her neck, in most piteous plight ; but, Allah 
willing, the healing of both of you shall come from my hand." 
Now when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, his life returned to 
him and he took heart and felt a thrill of joy and signed to his 
father to help him sit up ; and the King was like to fly for glad- 
ness and rose hastily and lifted him up. Presently, of his fear for 
his son, he shook the kerchief of dismissal ! ; and all the Emirs and 
Wazirs withdrew; then he set two pillows for his son to lean upon, 
after which he bade them perfume the palace with saffron and 
decorate the city, saying to Marzawan, " By Allah, O my son, of a 
truth thine aspect be a lucky and a blessed ! " And he made as 
much of him as he might and called for food, and when they 
brought it, Marzawan came up to the Prince and said, " Rise, eat 
with me." So he obeyed him and ate with him, and all the while 
the King invoked blessings on Marzawan and said, " How auspicious 
is thy coming, O my son !'" And when the father saw his boy eat, 
his joy and gladness redoubled, and he went out and told the 
Prince's mother and all the household. Then he spread through- 
out the palace the good news of the Prince's recovery and the 
King commanded the decoration of the city and it was a day 
of high festival. Marzawan passed that night with Kamar al- 
Zaman, and the King also slept with them in joy and delight 
for his son's recovery. -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 
day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

ttfofo tofcen it foas tfje .J^unfcxrti anfc ttftnetg-mntl) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that King Shah- 
riman also passed that night with them in the excess of his joy for 

This symbolic action is repeatedly mentioned in The Nights 

266 A If Lcvylah wa La/ylah. 

his son's recovery. And when the next morning dawned, and the 
King had gone away and the two young men were left alone, 
Kamar al-Zaman told his story from beginning to end to Marza- 
wan who said, " In very sooth I know her with whom thou didst 
foregather ; her name is the Princess Budur and she is daughter to 
King Ghayur." Then he related to him all that had passed with 
the Princess from first to last and acquainted him with the exces- 
sive love she bore him, saying, " All that befel thee with thy father 
hath befallen her with hers, and thou art without doubt her be- 
loved, even as she is thine ; so brace up thy resolution and take 
heart, for I will bring thee to her and unite you both anon and 
deal with you even as saith the poet : 

Albe to lover adverse be his love, o And show aversion howso may 

he care ; 
Yet will I manage that their persons * meet, o E'en as the pivot of a scissor- 


And he ceased not to comfort and solace and encourage Kamar 
al-Zaman and urge him to eat and drink till he ate food and drank 
wine, and life returned to him and he was saved from his ill case ; 
and Marzawan cheered him and diverted him with talk and songs 
and stories, and in good time he became free of his disorder and 
stood up and sought to go to the Hammam. 2 So Marzawan took 
him by the hand and both went to the bath, where they washed 

their bodies and made them clean. And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Note tofcn it toa* t&e STtoo ^unbreitl) Ntgf)t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar 
al-Zaman, son of King Shahriman, went to the Hammam, his 
father in his joy at this event freed the prisoners, and presented 
splendid dresses to his grandees and bestowed large aim-gifts 
upon the poor and bade decorate the city seven days. Then 
quoth Marzawan to Kamar al-Zaman, " Know, O my lord, that 
I came not from the Lady Budur save for this purpose, and the 

1 Arab. "Shakhs " = a person, primarily a dark spot. So " Sawad " = blackness, 
in Al-Hariri means a group of people who darken the ground by their shade. 

2 The first bath after sickness, I have said, is called " Ghusl al-Sihhah," the 
Washing of Health. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 267 

object of my journey was to deliver her from her present case ; 
and it remaineth for us only to devise how we may get to her, 
since thy father cannot brook the thought of parting from thee. 
So it is my counsel that to-morrow thou ask his leave to go abroad 
hunting. Then do thou take with thee a pair of saddle-bags full 
of money and mount a swift steed, and lead a spare horse, and 
I will do the like, and say to thy sire: I have a mind to divert 
myself with hunting the desert and to see the open country and 
there to pass one night. Suffer not any servant to follow us, for 
as soon as we reach the open country, we will go our ways." 
Kamar al-Zaman rejoiced in this plan with great joy and cried, 
"It is good.'! Then he Stiffened his back and, going in to his 
father, sought his leave and spoke as he had been taught, and the 
King consented to his going forth a-hunting and said, " O my son, 
blessed be the day that restoreth thee to health ! I will not gain- 
say thee in this ; but pass not more than one night in the desert 
and return to me on the morrow ; for thou knowest that life is not 
good to me without thee, and indeed I can hardly believe thee to 
be wholly recovered from what thou hadst, 1 because thou art to me 
as he of whom quoth the poet : 

Albe by me I had through day and night o Solomon's carpet and the 

Chosroes' might, 
Both were in value less than wing of gnat, o Unless these eyne could 

hold thee aye in sight. 2 

Then the King equipped his son Kamar al-Zaman and Marzawan 
for the excursion, bidding make ready for them four horses, to- 
gether with a dromedary to carry the money and a camel to bear 
the water and belly-timber ; and Kamar al-Zaman forbade any 
of his attendants to follow him. His father farewelled him and 
pressed him to his breast and kissed him, saying, " I ask thee in 
the name of Allah, be not absent from me more than one night, 
wherein sleep will be unlawful to me, for I am even as saith the 
poet : 

1 The words "malady " and "disease " are mostly avoided during these dialogues as 
ill-omened words which may bring on a relapse. 

a Solomon's carpet of green silk which carried him and all his host through the air it 
A Talmudic legend generally accepted in Al-Islam though not countenanced by the 
Koran, cbapt xxvii. When the "gnat's wing" is mentioned, the reference is to 
Nimrod who, for boasting that he was lord of all, was tortured during four hundred 
years by a gnat sent by Allah up his ear or nostril. 

268 A If La/ylah wa Laylah. 

Thou present, in the Heaven of heavens I dwell ; o Bearing thine absence 

is of hells my Hell : 
Pledged be for thee my soul ! If love for thee o Be crime, my crime te 

of the fellest fell 
Does love-lowe burn thy heart as burns it mine, o Doomed night and day 

Gehenna- fire to smell?" 

Answered Kamar al-Zaman, " O my father, Inshallah, I will lie 
abroad but one night ! " Then he took leave of him, and he and 
Marzawan mounted and leading the spare horses, the dromedary 
with the money and the camel with the water and victual, turned 
their faces towards the open country; - And Shahrazad perceived 
the dawning day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo!)*n ft foas tfje Ctoo f^untorft an& jftat Nijp*, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al 
Zaman and Marzawan fared forth and turned their faces towards 
the open country ; and they travelled from the first of the day till 
nightfall, when they halted and ate and drank and fed their beasts 
and rested awhile ; after which they again took horse and ceased 
not journeying for three days, and on the fourth they came to a 
spacious tract wherein was a thicket. They alighted in it and 
Marzawan, taking the camel and one of the horses, slaughtered 
them and cut off their flesh and stripped their bones. Then he 
doffed from Kamar al-Zaman his shirt and trousers which he 
smeared with the horse's blood and he took the Prince's coat 
which he tore to shreds and befouled with gore ; and he cast them 
down in the fork of the road. Then they ate and drank and 
mounting set forward again ; and, when Kamar al-Zaman asked 
why this was done, and said, " What is this O my brother, and 
how shall it profit us ? "; Marzawan replied, " Know that thy 
father, when we have outstayed the second night after the night 
for which we had his leave, and yet we return not, will mount and 
follow in our track till he come hither ; and, when he happeneth 
upon this blood which I have spilt and he seeth thy shirt and 
trousers rent and gore-fouled, he will fancy that some accident 
befel thee from bandits or wild-beasts ; so he will give up hope of 
thee and return to his city, and by this device we shall win our 
wishes." Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, " By Allah, this be indeed a 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 269 

rare device ! Thou hast done right well." 1 Then the two fared 
on days and nights and all that while Kamar al-Zaman did 
naught but complain when he found himself alone, and he ceased 
not weeping till they drew near their journey's end, when he 
rejoiced and repeated these verses : 

Wilt tyrant play with truest friend who thinks of thee each hour, o And after 

showing love-desire betray indifference ? 
May I forfeit every favour if in love I falsed thee, o If thee I left, abandon me 

by way of recompense : 
But I've been guilty of no crime such harshness to deserve, o And if I aught 

offended thee I bring my penitence ; 
Of Fortune's wonders one it is thou hast abandoned me ; o But Fortune never 

wearieth of showing wonderments. 

When he had made an end of his verses, Marzawan said to him, 
" Look ! these be King Ghayur's Islands ;" whereat Kamar 
al-Zaman joyed with exceeding joy and thanked him for what 
he had done, and kissed him between the eyes and strained him 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 

her permitted say. 

Nofo foljen ft foas t&e foo f^unbtefc anfc gbeconlj 

She said, It hath reached me, O aupicious King, that when 
Marzawan said " Look ! these be the Islands of King Ghayur ;" 
Kamar al-Zaman joyed with exceeding joy and thanked him for 
what he had done and kissed him between the eyes and strained 
him to his bosom. And after reaching the Islands and entering 
the city they took up their lodging in a khan, where they rested 
three days from the fatigues of their wayfare ; after which Marza- 
wan carried Kamar al-Zaman to the bath and, clothing him in 
merchant's gear, provided him with a geomantic tablet of gold,* 

1 The absolute want of morality and filial affection in the chaste young man are 
supposed to be caused by the violence of his passion, and he would be pardoned because 
he "loved much." 

2 I have noticed the geomantic process in my " History of Sindh " (chapt. vii.). It 
is called "Zarb al-Raml (strike of sand, the French say "frapper le sable) because 
the rudest form is to make on the ground dots at haphazard, usually in four lines one 
above the other : these are counted and, if even-numbered, two are taken ( * * ) ; if 

* * 

odd one ( * ) ; and thus the four lines will form a scheme say J This is repeated 

* t 

270 Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

with a set of astrological instruments and with an astrolabe of 
silver, plated with gold. Then he said to him, " Arise, O my lord, 
and take thy stand under the walls of the King's palace and cry 
out : I am the ready Reckoner ; I am the Scrivener ; I am he 
who weeteth the Sought and the Seeker ; I am the finished man 
of Science ; I am the Astrologer accomplished in experience I 
Where then is he that seeketh ? As soon as the King heareth 
this, he will send after thee and carry thee in to his daughter the 
Princess Budur, thy lover; but when about going in to her do 
thou say to him : Grant me three days' delay, and if she recover, 
give her to me to wife ; and if not, deal with me as thou dealtest 
with those who forewent me. He will assuredly agree to this, so as 
soon as thou art alone with her, discover thyself to her ; and when 
she seeth thee, she will recover strength and her madness will cease 
from her and she will be made whole in one night. Then do thou 
give her to eat and drink, and her father, rejoicing in her recovery, 
will marry thee to her and share his kingdom with thee ; for he hath 
imposed on himself this condition and so peace be upon thee." Now 
when Kamar al-Zaman heard these words he exclaimed, "May I 
iiever lack thy benefits ! ", and, taking the set of instruments afore- 
said, sallied forth from the caravanserai in the dress of his order. 
He walked on till he stood under the walls of King Ghayur's palace, 
where he began to cry out, saying, " I am the Scribe, I am the 
ready Reckoner, I am he who knoweth the Sought and the Seeker ; 
I am he who openeth the Volume and summeth up the Sums ; * 
who Dreams can expound whereby the sought is found ! Where 
then is the seeker ? " Now when the city people heard this, they 
flocked to him, for it was long since they had seen Scribe or 
Astrologer, and they stood round him and, looking upon him, 

three times, producing the same number of figures ; and then the combination is sought 
in an explanatory table or, if the practitioner be expert, he pronounces off-hand. The 
Nights speak of a "Takht Kami " or a board, like a schoolboy's slate, upon which the 
dots are inked instead of points in sand. The moderns use a " Kura'h," or oblong 
die, upon whose sides the dots, odd and even, are marked ; and these dice are hand- 
thrown to form the figure. By way of complication Geomancy is mixed up with 
astrology and then it becomes a most complicated kind of ariolation and an endless 
study. " Napoleon's Book of Fate," a chap-book which appeared some years ago, was 
Geomancy in its simplest and most ignorant shape. For the rude African form see my 
Mission to Dahome, i. 332 ; and for that of Darfour, pp. 360-69 of Shaykh Mohammed's 
Voyage before quoted. 

1 Translators understand this of writing marriage contracts ; I take it in a mor* 
(general sense> 

Tale of Kamar at-Zaman. 271 

they saw one in the prime of beauty and grace and perfect 
elegance, and they marvelled at his loveliness, and his fine stature 
and symmetry. Presently one of them accosted him and said, 
1< Allah upon thee, O thou fair and young, with the eloquent tongue !" 
incur not this affray ; nor throw thy life away in thine ambition 
to marry the Princess Budur. Only cast thine eyes upon yonder 
heads hung up ; all their owners have lost their lives in this same 
venture." Yet Kamar al-Zaman paid no heed to them, but cried 
out at the top of his voice, saying, " I am the Doctor, the 
Scrivener ! I am the Astrologer, the Calculator ! " And all the 
townsfolk forbade him from this, but he regarded them not at 
all, saying in his mind, " None knoweth desire save whoso suffereth 
it." Then he began again to cry his loudest, shouting, " I am the 

Scrivener, I am the Astrologer ! " And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fcofjcn ft foa* tljc 3Ttoo fQuntafc antr 3Hjfrt Ntgljt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamaif 
al-Zaman in no wise heeded the words of the citizens, but con<* 
tinued to cry out, " I am the Calculator ! I am the Astrologer ! " 
Thereupon all the townsfolk were wroth with him and said to him, 
" Thou art nothing but an imbecile, silly, self-willed lad ! Have 
pity on thine own youth and tender years and beauty and loveli- 
ness." But he cried all the more, " I am the Astrologer, I am the 
Calculator I Is there any one that seeketh ? " As he was thus 
crying and the people forbidding him, behold, King Ghayur heard 
his voice and the clamour of the lieges and said to his Wazir, " Go 
down and bring me yon Astrologer." So the Wazir went down in 
haste, and taking Kamar al-Zaman from the midst of the crowd 
led him up to the King ; and when in the presence he kissed the 
ground and began versifying : 

Eight glories meet, all, all conjoined in thee, o Whereby may Fortune aye 

thy servant be : 
Lere, lordliness, grace, generosity ; o Plain words, deep meaning, 

honour, victory ! 

When the King looked upon him, he seated him by his side and 
said to him, " By Allah, O my son, an thou be not an astrologer, 

272 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

venture not thy life nor comply with my condition ; for I have 
bound myself that whoso goeth in to my daughter and healeth her 
not of that which hath befallen her I will strike off his head ; but 
whoso healeth her him I will marry to her. So let not thy beauty 
and loveliness delude thee : for, by Allah ! and again, by Allah ! if 
thou cure her not, I will assuredly cut off thy head." And Kamar 
al-Zaman replied, " This is thy right ; and I consent, for I wot of 
this ere came I hither." Then King Ghayur took the Kazis to 
witness against him and delivered him to the eunuch, saying, 
" Carry this one to the Lady Budur." So the eunuch took him by 
the hand and led him along the passage ; but Kamar al-Zaman 
outstripped him and pushed on before, whilst the eunuch ran after 
him, saying, " Woe to thee J Hasten not to thine own ruin : never 
yet saw I astrologer so eager for his proper destruction ; but thou 
weetest not what calamities are before thee." Thereupon Kamar 

al-Zaman turned away his face from the eunuch And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted 

Noto tofjen it foas tbe STtoo f^unfteft anfc Jpourtl) Ntgftt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
eunuch thus addressed Kamar al-Zaman, " Patience, and no inde- 
cent hurry !"; the Prince turned away his face and began repeating 
these couplets : 

A Sage, I feel a fool before thy charms ; o Distraught, I wot not what 

the words I say : 
If say I " Sun," away thou dost not pass o From eyes of me, while suns 

go down with day : 
Thou hast completed Beauty, in whose praise o Speech-makers fail, and 

talkers lose their way. 

Then the eunuch stationed Kamar al-Zaman behind the curtain of 
the Princess's door and the Prince said to him, " Which of the two 
ways will please thee more ; treat and cure thy lady from here or 
go in and heal her within the curtain?" The eunuch marvelled 
at his words and answered, " An thou heal her from here it were 
better proof of thy skill." Upon this Kamar al-Zaman sat down 
behind the curtain and, taking out ink-case, pen and paper, wrote 
the following : " This is the writ of one whom passion swayeth. * 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 273 

and whom longing waylayeth * and wakeful misery slayeth * one 
who despaireth of living * and looketh for naught but dying * 
with whose mourning heart * nor comforter nor helper taketh part 
* One whose sleepless eyes * none succoureth from anxieties * 
whose day is passed in fire * and his night in torturing desire # 
whose body is wasted for much emaciation * and no messenger 
from his beloved bringeth him consolation" And after this he 
indited the following couplets : 

I write with heart devoted to thy thought, And eyelids chafed by tears of 

blood they bled ; 
And body clad, by loving pine and pain, o In shirt of leanness, and worn 

down to thread, 
To thee complain I of Love's tormentry, o Which ousted hapless Patience 

from her stead : 
A toi! show favour and some mercy deign, o For Passion's cruel hands my 

vitals shred. 

And beneath his lines he wrote these cadenced sentences, " The 
heart's pain is removed # by union with the beloved * and 
whomso his lover paineth * only Allah assaineth ! * If we or you 
have wrought deceit * may the deceiver win defeat! * There is 
naught goodlier than a lover who keeps faith * with the beloved 
who works him scathe." Then, by way of subscription, he wrote, 
" From the distracted and despairing man * whom love and long- 
ing trepan * from the lover under passion's ban * the prisoner of 
transport and distraction * from this Kamar al-Zaman * son of 
Shahriman * to the peerless one * of the fair Houris the pearl- 
union * to the Lady Budur * daughter of King Al-Ghayur * 
Know thou that by night I am sleepless * and by day in dis- 
tress * consumed with increasing wasting and pain * and longing 
and love unfain * abounding in sighs * with tear-flooded eyes * 
by passion captive ta'en * of Desire the slain * with heart seared 
by the parting of us twain # the debtor of longing-bane, of sick- 
ness cup-companion * I am the sleepless one, who never closeth 
eye * the slave of love, whose tears run never dry * for the fire 
of my heart is still burning * and never hidden is the flame of my 
yearning." Then on the margin Kamar al-Zaman wrote this 
admired verse : 

Salam from graces hoarded by my Lord o To her, who holds my heart and 
soul in hoard ! 

274 Atf Laylah wa Laylah. 

And also these : 

Pray'ee grant me some words from your lips, belike o Such mercy may com- 
fort and cool these eyne : 

From the stress of my love and my pine for you, o I make light of what 
makes me despised, indign : 

Allah guard a folk whose abode was far, o And whose secret I kept in the 
holiest shrine : 

Now Fortune in kindness hath favoured me o Thrown on threshold dust of this 
love o' mine : 

By me bedded I looked on Budur, whose sun o The moon of my fortunes hath 
made to shine. 

Then, having affixed his seal-ring to the missive, he wrote these 
couplets in the place of address : 

Ask of my writ what wrote my pen in dole, o And hear my tale of misery 

from this scroll ; 
My hand is writing while my tears down .flow, o And to the paper 'plains my 

longing soul : 
My tears cease not to roll upon this sheet, o And if they stopped I'd 

cause blood-gouts to roll. 

And at the end he added this other verse : 

I've sent the ring from off thy finger bore o I when we met, now deign my 
ring restore ! 

Then Kamar al-Zaman set the Lady Budur's ring inside the letter 
and sealed it and gave it to the eunuch, who took it and went 

in with it to his mistress. -And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

J=iofo fo&m it toas tjc fou f^unte* anto jpiftft 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al- 
Zainan, after setting the seal-ring inside the epistle, gave it to the 
eunuch who took it and went in with it to his mistress ; and, when 
the Lady Budur opened it, she found therein her own very ring. 
Then she read the paper and when she understood its purport and 
knew that it was from her beloved, and that he in person stood 
behind the curtain, her reason began to fly and her breast swelled 
for joy and rose high ; and she repeated these couplets : 

Tale of Kantar al-Zaman. 275 

Long, long have I bewailed the sev'rance of our loves, # With tears that from 
my lids streamed down like burning rain ; 

And vowed that, if the days deign reunite us two, * My lips should never 
speak of severance again : 

Joy hath o'erwhelmed me so that, for the very stress * Of that which glad- 
dens me to weeping I am fain. 

Tears are become to you a habit, O my eyes, * So that ye weep as 

well for gladness as for pain. 1 

And having finished her verse, the Lady Budur stood up forthwith 
and, firmly setting her feet to the wall, strained with all her might 
upon the collar of iron, till she brake it from her neck and snapped 
the chains. Then going forth from behind the curtain she threw 
herself on Kamar al-Zaman and kissed him on the mouth, like a 
pigeon feeding its young. 2 And she embraced him with all the 
stress of her love and longing and said to him, " O my lord, do 
I wake or sleep and hath the Almighty indeed vouchsafed us 
reunion after disunion ? Laud be to Allah who hath our loves 
repaired, even after we despaired ! " Now when the eunuch saw 
her in this case, he went off running to King Ghayur and, kissing 
the ground before him, said, " O my lord, know that this Astrologer 
is indeed the Shaykh of all astrologers, who are fools to him, all of 
them ; for verily he hath cured thy daughter while standing behind 
the curtain and without going in to her." Quoth the King, " Look 
well to it, is this news true ? " Answered the Eunuch, " O my lord, 
rise and come and see for thyself how she hath found strength to 
break the iron chains and is come forth to the Astrologer, kissing 
and embracing him." Thereupon the King arose and went in to 
his daughter who, when she saw him, stood up in haste and 
covered her head, 3 and recited these two couplets : 

The toothstick love I not ; for when I say, * " Siwdk," * I miss thee, for it 

sounds "Siwd-ka": 
The caper-tree I love ; for when I say, * " Ardk " 5 it sounds I look on 

thee, "Ard-ka." 

1 These lines are repeated from Night Ixxv. : with Mr. Payne's permission I give his 
rendering (iii. 153) by way of variety. 

2 The comparison is characteristically Arab. 

3 Not her " face": the head, and especially the back of the head, must always be 
kept covered, even before the father. 

4 Arab. " Siwak " = a tooth-stick ; " Siwa-ka " = lit. other than thou. 

6 Arab. " Arak " = tooth-stick of the wild caper-tree; " Ara-ka" lit. = I see Ihee. 
The capparis spinosa is a common desert-growth and the sticks about a span long 
(usually called Miswak), are sold in quantities at Meccah after being dipped in Zemzem 

276 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Thereupon the King was so transported for joy at her recovery 
that he felt like to fly and kissed her between the eyes, for he 
loved her with dearest love; then, turning to Kamar al-Zaman, 
he asked him who he was, and said, " What countryman art 
thou?" So the Prince told him his name and rank, and in- 
formed him that he was the son of King Shahriman, and pre- 
sently related to him the whole story from beginning to end ; 
and acquainted him with what happened between himself an<? 
the Lady Budur ; and how he had taken her seal-ring from her 
finger and had placed it on his own ; whereat Ghayur marvelled 
and said,. " Verily your story deserveth in books to be chronicled, 
and when you are dead and gone age after age be read." Then 
he summoned Kazis and witnesses forthright and married the 
Lady Budur to Prince Kamar al-Zaman ; after which be bade 
decorate the city seven days long. So they spread the tables 
with all manner of meats, whilst the drums beat and the criers 
announced the glad tidings, and all the troops donned their richest 
clothes ; and they illuminated the city and held high festival. 
Then Kamar al-Zaman went in to the Lady Budur and the King 
rejoiced in her recovery and in her marriage ; and praised Allah 
for that He had made her to fall in love with a goodly youth of 
the sons of Kings. So they unveiled her and displayed the bride 
before the bridegroom ; and both were the living likeness of each 
other in beauty and comeliness and grace and love-allurement. 
Then Kamar al-Zaman lay with her that night and took his will 
of her, whilst she in like manner fulfilled her desire of him and 
enjoyed his charms and grace ; and they slept in each other's arms 
till the morning. On the morrow, the King made a wedding-feast 
to which he gathered all comers from the Islands of the Inner and 
Outer Seas, and he spread the tables with choicest viands nor 

water. In India many other woods are used, date-tree, Salvadora, Achyrantes, 
phyllanthus, etc. Amongst Arabs peculiar efficacy accompanies the toothstick of 
olive, "the tree springing from Mount Sinai (Koran xxiii. 20); and Mohammed 
would use no other, because it prevents decay and scents the mouth. Hence Koran, 
chapt. xcv. I. The " Miswak " is held with the unused end between the ring-finger 
and minimus, the two others grasp the middle and the thumb is pressed against the back 
close to the lips. These articles have long been sold at the Medical Hall near the 
" Egyptian Hall," Piccadilly. They are better than our unclean tooth-brushes because 
each tooth gets its own especial rubbing, not a general sweep ; at the same time the 
operation is longer and more troublesome. In parts of Africa as well as Asia many men 
walk about with the tooth-stick hanging by a string from the neck. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zamart. 277 

ceased the banquetting for a whole month. Now when Kamar al- 
Zaman had thus fulfilled his will and attained his inmost desire, 
and whenas he had tarried awhile with the Princess Budur, he 
bethought him of his father, King Shahriman, and saw him in a 
dream, saying, " O my son, is it thus thou dealest with me ? " and 
reciting in the vision these two couplets : 

Indeed to watch the darkness-moon he blighted me, o And to star-gaze through 

longsome night he plighted me : 
Easy, my heart ! for haply he'll unite with thee ; o And patience, Sprite t 

with whatso ills he dight to thee. 

Now after seeing his father in the dream and hearing his re- 
proaches, Kamar al-Zaman awoke in the morning, afflicted and 
troubled, whereupon the Lady Budur questioned him and he told 
her what he had seen -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 
day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

foften ft foas rt)e foo f^untaft anfc Sbfotf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Kamar ai-Zaman acquainted the Lady Budur with what he had 
seen in his dream, she and he went in to her sire and, telling him 
what had passed, besought his leave to travel. He gave the Prince 
the permission he sought ; but the Princess said, <f O my father, I 
cannot bear to be parted from him." Quoth Ghayur, her sire, 
"Then go thou with him," and gave her leave to be absent a 
whole twelvemonth and afterwards to visit him in every year once ; 
so she kissed his hand and Kamar al-Zaman did the like. There- 
upon King Ghayur proceeded to equip his daughter and her 
bridegroom for the journey, and furnished them with outfit and 
appointments for the march ; and brought out of his stables 
horses marked with his own brand, blood-dromedaries 1 which can 
journey ten days without water, and prepared a litter for his 
daughter, besides loading mules and camels with victual ; more- 
over, he gave them slaves and eunuchs to serve them and all 

1 The " Mehari," of which the Algerine-French speak, are the dromedaries bred by 
the Mahrah tribe of Al-Yaman, the descendants of Mahrat ibn Haydan. They are 
covered by small wild camels (?) called Al-Hiish, found between Oman and Al-Shihr: 
others explain the word to mean "stallions of the J inns," and term those savage and 
supernatural animals, " Najaib al-Mahriyah" nobles of the Mahrah. 

2; 8 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

manner of travelling gear ; and on the day of departure, when 
King Ghayur took leave of Kamar al-Zaman, he bestowed on him 
ten splendid suits of cloth of gold embroidered with stones of 
price, together with ten riding horses and ten she-camels, and a 
treasury of money j 1 and he charged him to love and cherish his 
daughter the Lady Budur. Then the King accompanied them to 
the farthest limits of his Islands where, going in to his daughter 
Budur in the litter, he kissed her and strained her to his bosom, 
weeping and repeating : 

O thou who wooest Severance, easy fare ! o For love-embrace belongs to lover- 
friend : 
Fare softly ! Fortune's nature falsehood is, o And parting shall love's every 

.meeting end. 


Then leaving his daughter, he went to her husband and bade him 
farewell and kissed him; after which he parted from them and, 
giving the order for the march he returned to his capital with his 
troops. The Prince and Princess and their Suite fared on without 
stopping through the first day and the second and the third and 
the fourth ; nor did they cease faring for a whole month till they 
came to a spacious champaign, abounding in pasturage, where they 
pitched their tents; and they ate and drank and rested, and the 
Princess Budur lay down to sleep. Presently, Kamar al-Zaman 
went in to her and found her lying asleep clad in a shift of apricot- 
coloured silk that showed all and everything; and on her head was 
a coif of gold-cloth embroidered with pearls and jewels. The breeze 
raised her shift which laid bare her navel and showed her breasts 
and displayed a stomach whiter than snow, each one of whose 
dimples would contain an ounce of benzoin-oinment. 2 At this 

1 Arab. " Khaznah " = a thousand purses ; now about 5000. It denotes a large 
sum of money, like the "Badrah," a purse containing dirhams of silver (Al- 
Hariri), or 80,000 (Burckhardt Prov. 380) ; whereas the " Nisab" is a moderate sum of 
money, gen. 20 gold dinars = 200 silver dirhams. 

2 As The Nights show, Arabs admire slender forms ; but the hips and hinder cheeks 
must be highly developed and the stomach fleshy rather than lean. The reasons are 
obvious. The Persians who exaggerate everything say e.g. (Husayn Vaiz in the Anvar- 

i-Suhayli) : 

How paint her hips and waist ? Who saw 

A mountain (Koh) dangling to a straw (kah) ? 

In Antar his beloved Abla is a tamarisk (T. Orientalis). Others compare with the 
palm-tree (Solomon), the Cypress (Persian, esp. Hafiz and Firdausi) and the Ara'k or 
wild, Capparis (Arab.) 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 279 

sight, his love and longing redoubled, and he began reciting: 

An were it asked me when by hell-fire burnt, o When flames of heart my 

vitals hold and hem, 
41 Which wouldst thou chose, say wouldst thou rather them, o Or drink sweet 

cooling draught ? " I'd answer, " Them ! '* 

Then he put his hand to the band of her petticoat-trousers and 
drew it and loosed it, for his soul lusted after her, when he saw a 
jewel, red as dye-wood, made fast to the band. He untied it and 
examined it and, seeing two lines of writing graven thereon, in a 
character not to be read, marvelled and said in his mind, " Were 
not this bezel something to her very dear she had not bound it to 
her trousers-band nor hidden it in the most privy and precious 
place about her person, that she might not be parted from it. 
Would I knew what she doth with this and what is the secret that 
is in it." So saying, he took it and went outside the tent to look 
at it in the light, -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day, 
and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Koto fo&cn ft teas tfce Sfoo ^tm&rft an& 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when he 
took the bezel to look at it in the light, the while he was holding it 
behold, a bird swooped down on him and, snatching the same from 
his hand, flew off with it and then lighted on the ground. There- 
upon Kamar al-Zaman fearing to lose the jewel, ran after the 
bird ; but it flew on before him, keeping just out of his reach, 
and ceased not to draw him on from dale to dale and from hill to 
hill, till the night starkened and the firmament darkened, when it 
roosted on a high tree. So Kamar al-Zaman stopped under the 
tree confounded in thought and faint for famine and fatigue, and 
giving himself up for lost, would have turned back, but knew not 
the way whereby he came, for that darkness had overtaken him. 
Then he exclaimed, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great!"; and laying him down 
under the tree (whereon was the bird) slept till the morning, when 
he awoke and saw the bird also wake up and fly away. He arose 
and walked after it, and it flew on little by little before him, after 
the measure of his faring ; at which he smiled and said, " By 
Allah, a strange thing! Yesterday, this bird flew before me as 

280 A If Laylah iva Laylah. 

fast as I could run, and to-day, knowing that I have awoke tired 
and cannot run, he flieth after the measure of my faring. By 
Allah, this is wonderful ! But I must needs follow this bird 
whether it lead me to death or to life ; and I will go wherever it 
goeth, for at all events it will not abide save in some inhabited 
land. 1 So he continued to follow the bird which roosted every 
night upon a tree ; and he ceased not pursuing it for a space of 
ten days, feeding on the fruits of the earth and drinking of its 
waters. At the end of this time, he came in sight of an inhabited 
city, whereupon the bird darted off like the glance of the eye and, 
entering the town, disappeared from Kamar al-Zaman, who knew 
not what it meant or whither it was gone ; so he marvelled at this 
and exclaimed, " Praise be to Allah who hath brought me in safety 
to this city ! " Then he sat down by a stream and washed his 
hands and feet and face and rested awhile ; and, recalling his late 
easy and pleasant life of union with his beloved and contrasting 
it with his present plight of trouble and fatigue and distress and 
strangerhood and famine and severance, the tears streamed from 
his eyes and he began repeating these cinquains : 

Fain had I hid thy handwork, but it showed, o Changed sleep for wake, 

and wake with me abode : 
When thou didst spurn my heart I cried aloud o Fate, hold thy hand and 

cease to gird and goad : 

In dole and danger aye my sprite I spy ! 

An but the Lord of Love were just to me, o Sleep fro* my eyelids ne'e/ 

were forced to flee . 
Pity, my lady, one for love o' thee o From his tribe's darling brought to low 

degree : 

Love came and doomed Wealth beggar-death to die. 

The railers chide at thee : I ne'er gainsay, o But stop my ears and dumbly sign 

them Nay : 
" Thou lov'st a slender may," say they ; I say, o " I've picked her out and 

cast the rest away : n 

Enough ; when Fate descends she blinds man's eye ! 2 

1 Ubi aves ibi angeli. AH African travellers know that a few birds flying about 
the bush, and a few palm-trees waving in the wind, denote the neighbourhood of a 
village or a camp (where angels are scarce). The reason is not any friendship for man 
but because food, animal and vegetable, is more plentiful. Hence Albatrosses, Mother 
Carey's (Mater Cata, the Virgin) chickens, and Cape pigeons follow ships. 

2 The stanza is called Al-Mukhammas =: cinquains ; the quatrains and the "bob," 
or " burden," always preserve the same consonance. It ends with a Koranic lieu 
commun of Moslem morality. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman* 2Sl 

And as soon as he had finished his poetry and had taken his rest, 
he rose and walked on little by little, till he entered the city 
- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying 
her permitted say. 

fo5w (t foas tfce 3Tfoo ^unbtcfc ant lEi 

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that as soon as 
Kamar al-Zaman had finished his poetry and had taken his rest, 
he arose and entered the city-gate 1 not knowing whither he should 
wend. He crossed the city from end to end, entering by the land- 
gate, and ceased not faring on till he came out at the sea-gate, for 
the city stood on the sea-shore. Yet he met not a single one of 
its citizens. And after issuing from the land-gate he fared for- 
wards and ceased not faring till he found himself among the 
orchards and gardens of the place ; and, passirig among the trees 
presently came to a garden and stopped before its door ; where- 
upon the keeper came out to him and saluted him. The Prince 
returned his greeting and the gardener bade him welcome, saying, 
" Praised be Allah that thou hast come off safe from the dwellers 
of this city ! Quick, come into the garth, ere any of the townfolk 
see thee." Thereupon Kamar al-Zaman entered that garden, won- 
dering in mind, and asked the keeper, " What may be the history 
of the people of this city and who may they be ? " The other 
answered, " Know that the people of this city are all Magians : 
but Allah upon thee, tell me how thou earnest to this city and 
what caused thy coming to our capital." Accordingly Kamar al- 
Zaman told the gardener all that had befallen him from beginning 
to end, whereat he marvelled with great marvel and said, " Know, 
O my son, that the cities of Al-Islam lie far from us ; and between 
us and them is a four months' voyage by sea and a whole twelve 
months' journey by land. We have a ship which saileth every year 
with merchandise to the nearest Moslem country and which en- 
tereth the seas of the Ebony Islands and thence maketh the Kha- 
lidan Islands, the dominions of King Shahriman." Thereupon 
Kamar al-Zaman considered awhile and concluded that he could 

1 Moslem port towns usually have (or had) only two gates. Such was the case with 
Bayrut, Tyre, Sidon and a host of others ; the faubourg-growth of modern days has 
made these obselete. The portals much resemble the entrances of old Norman castles 
Argues for instance. , Pilgrimage, i. .x5. 

Alf Laylah wa Laylah. 

not do better than abide in the garden with the gardener and 
become his assistant, receiving for pay one, fourth of the produce. 
So he said to him, " Wilt thou take me into thy service, to help 
thee in this garden ? " Answered the gardener, " To hear is to 
consent ; " and began teaching him to lead the water to the roots 
of the trees. So Kamar al-Zaman abode with him, watering the 
trees and hoeing up the weeds and wearing a short blue frock' 
which reached to his knees. And he wept floods of tears ; for he 
had no rest day or night, by reason of his strangerhood and he 
ceased not to repeat verses upon his beloved, amongst others the 
following couplets : 

Ye promised us and will ye not keep plight ? o Ye said a say and shall not 

deed be dight ? 
We wake for passion while ye slumber and sleep ; Watchers and wakers claim 

not equal right : 
We vowed to keep our loves in secrecy, o But spake the meddler and 

you spoke forthright : 
O friend in pain and pleasure, joy and grief, o In all case you, you only* 

claim my sprite ! 
*Mid folk is one who holds my prisoned heart ; o Would he but show some 

ruth for me to sight. 
Not every eye like mine is wounded sore, Not every, bearfc like mine 

love-pinings blight : 
Ye wronged me saying, Love is wrongous aye o Yea ! ye were right, 

events have proved that quite. 
Forget they one love-thralled, whose faith the world o Robs not, though bum 

the fires in heart alight : 
If an my foeman shall become my judge, o Whom shall I sue to 

remedy his despight ? 
Had not I need of love nor love had sought, o My heart forsure were 

not thus love-distraught. 

Such was the case with Kamar al-Zaman ; but as regards his wife, 
the Lady Budur, when she awoke she sought her husband and 
found him not : then she saw her petticoat-trousers undone, for 
the band had been loosed and the bezel lost, whereupon she said 
to herself, " By Allah, this is strange ! Where is my husband ? It 
would seem as if be had taken the talisman and gone away, 
knowing not the secret which is in it. Would to Heaven I knew 
whither can he have wended ! But it must needs have been some 
extraordinary matter that drew him away, for he cannot brook to 
leave me a moment. Allah curse the stone and damn its hour ! M 
Then she considered awhile and said in her mind, " If I go out 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 283 

and tell the varlets and let them learn that my husband is lost, 
they will lust after me : there is no help for it but that I use 
stratagem. So she rose and donned some of her husband's clothes 
and riding-boots, and a turband like his, drawing one corner of it 
across her face for a mouth-veil. 1 Then, setting a slave-girl in her 
litter, she went forth from the tent and called to the pages who 
brought her Kamar al-Zaman's steed ; and she mounted and bade 
them load the beasts and resume the march. So they bound on 
the burdens and departed ; and she concealed her trick, none 
doubting but she was Kamar al-Zaman, for she favoured him in 
face and form; nor did she cease journeying, she and her suite, 
days and nights, till they came in sight of a city overlooking the 
Salt Sea, where they pitched their tents without the walls and 
halted to rest. The Princess asked the name of the town and 
was told, " It is called the City of Ebony ; its King is named 

Armanus, and he hath a daughter Hayat al-Nufiis 2 hight," 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say 
her permited say. 

Noto fofcen ft foas t&e 2foo f^untalJ an* Nintfc Nigfct, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Lady Budur halted within sight of the Ebony City to take her 
rest, King Armanus sent a messenger, to learn what King it was 
who had encamped without his capital ; so the messenger, coming 
to the tents,' made enquiry anent their King, and was told that 
she was a King's son who had lost the way being bound for 
the Khalidan Islands; whereupon he returned to King Armanus 
with the tidings ; and, when the King heard them, he straightway 
rode out with the lords of his land to greet the. stranger on 
arrival. As he drew near the tents the Lady Budur came to 
meet him on foot, whereupon the King alighted and they saluted 
each other. Then he took her to the city and, bringing her up 
to the palace, bade them spread the tables and trays of food and 
commanded them to transport her company and baggage to the 
guest-house. So they abode there three days ; at the end of 
which time the King came in to the Lady Budur. Now she had 
that day gone to the Hammam and her face shone as the moon 

1 Arab. "Lisam"; before explained. 
* iu. Life of Souls (persons, etc.). 

284 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

at its full, a seduction to the world and a rending of the veil of 
shame to mankind ; and Armanus found her clad in a suit of silk, 
embroidered with gold and jewels ; so he said to her, " O my son, 
know that I am a very old man, decrepit withal, and Allah hath 
blessed me with no child save one daughter, who resembleth thee 
in beauty and grace ; and I am now waxed unfit for the conduct 
of the state. She is thine, O my son ; and, if this my land please 
thee and thou be willing to abide and make thy home here, I will 
marry thee to her and give thee my kingdom and so be at rest." 
When Princess Budur heard this, she bowed her head and her 
forehead sweated for shame,, and she said to herself. " How 
shall I do, and I a woman ? If I refuse and depart from him, I 
cannot be safe but that haply he send after me troops to slay 
me ; and if I consent, belike I shall be put to shame. I have 
lost my beloved Kamar al-Zaman and know not what is become 
of him ; nor can I escape from this scrape save by holding my 
peace and consenting and abiding here, till Allah bring about 
what is to be/' So she raised her head and made submission to 
King Armanus, saying, " Hearkening and obedience ! " ; whereat 
he rejoiced and bade the herald make proclamation throughout 
the Ebony Islands to hold high festival and decorate the houses. 
Then he assembled his Chamberlains and Nabobs, and Emirs 
and Wazirs and his officers of state and the Kazis of the city ; 
and, formally abdicating his Sultanate, endowed Budur therewith 
and invested her in all the vestments of royalty. The Emirs and 
Grandees went in to her and did her homage, nothing doubting 
but that she was a young man, and all who looked on her bepissed 
their bag-trousers, for the excess of her beauty and loveliness. 
Then, after the lady Budur had been made Sultan and the drums 
had been beaten in announcement of the glad event, and she 
had been ceremoniously enthroned, King Armanus proceeded 
to equip his daughter Hayat al-Nufus for marriage, and in a 
few days, they brought the Lady Budur in to her, when they 
seemed as it were two moons risen at one time or two suns in 
conjunction. So they entered the bridal-chamber and the doors 
were shut and the curtains let down upon them, after the atten- 
dants had lighted the wax-candles and spread for them the carpet- 
bed. When Budur found herself alone with the Princess Hayat 
al-Nufus, she called to mind her beloved Kamar al-Zaman and 
grief was sore upon her. So she wept for his absence, and 
estrangement and she began repeating : 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 285 

ye who fled and left my heart in pain low li'en, o No breath of life is found 

within this frame of mine : 

1 have an eye which e'er complains of wake, but lo ! o Tears occupy it ; would 

that wake content these eyne ! 
After ye marched forth the lover 'bode behind ; o Question of him what 

pains your absence could design ! 
But for the floods of tears mine eyelids rail and rain, o My fires would flame on) 

high and every land calcine. 
To Allah make I moan of loved ones lost for aye, o Who for my pine and 

pain no more shall pain and pine : 
I never wronged them save that over-love I nurst : o But Love departs us 

lovers into blest and curst. 

And when she had finished her repeating, the Lady Budur sat 
down beside the Princess Hayat al-Nufus and kissed her on the 
mouth ; after which rising abruptly, she made the minor ablution 
and betook herself to her devotions ; nor did she leave praying till 
Hayat al-Nufus fell asleep, when she slipt into bed and lay with 
her back to her till morning. And when day had broke the King 
and Queen came in to their daughter and asked her how she did, 
whereupon she told them what she had seen, and repeated to 
them the verses she had heard. Thus far concerning Hayat al- 
Nufus and her father; but as regards Queen Budur she went forth 
and seated herself upon the royal throne and all the Emirs and 
Captains and Officers of state came up to her and wished her joy 
of the kingship, kissing the earth before her and calling down bless- 
ings upon her. And she accosted them with smiling face and 
clad them in robes of honour, augmenting the fiefs of the high 
officials and giving largesse to the levies ; wherefore all the people 
loved her and offered up prayers for the long endurance of her 
reign, doubting not but that she was a man. And she ceased not 
sitting all day in the hall of audience, bidding and forbidding ; 
dispensing justice, releasing prisoners and remitting the customs- 
dues, till nightfall, when she withdrew to the apartment prepared 
for her. Here she found Hayat al-Nufus seated ; so she sat down 
by her side and, clapping her on the back, coaxed and caressed her 
and kissed her between the eyes, and fell to versifying in these 
couplets : 

What secret kept I these my tears have told, o And my waste body must my 

love unfold : 
Though hid my pine, my plight on parting-day o To every envious eye my secret 


286 A If Laylah wa Laylah, 

ye who broke up camp, you've left behind o My spirit wearied and my heart 

a-cold : 
In my heart's core ye dwell, and now these eyne * Roll blood-drops with the tears 

they whilome rolled : 
The absent will I ransom with my soul ; o All can my yearning for their 

sight behold : 

1 have an eye whose babe, 1 for love of thee, o Rejected sleepr nor hath its tears 

The foeman bids me patient bear his loss, o Ne'er may mine ears accept the 

ruth he doled ! 
I trickt their deme of me, and won my wish o Of Kamar al-Zaman's joys 

manifold : 
;He joins all perfect gifts like none before ; o Boasted such might and main 

no King of old : 
Seeing his gifts, Bin Zd'idah's 2 largesse o Forget we, and Mu'awiyah 

mildest-soul'd : 3 
Were verse not feeble and o'er short the time o I had in laud of him used all 

of rhyme. 

Then Queen Budur stood up and wiped away her tears and, 
making the lesser ablution, 4 applied her to pray : nor did she give 
over praying till drowsiness overcame the Lady Hayat al-Nufus 
and she slept, whereupon the Lady Budur came and lay by her 
till the morning. At daybreak, she arose and prayed the dawn- 
prayer ; and presently seated herself on the royal throne and 
passed the day in ordering and counterordering and giving laws 
and administering justice. This is how it fared with her ; but as 
regards King Armanus he went in to his daughter and asked her 
how she did; so she told him all that had befallen her and repeated 
to him the verses which Queen Budur had recited, adding, " O my 
father, never saw I one more abounding in sound sense and 
modesty than my husband, save that he doth nothing but weep 
and sigh." He answered, " O my daughter, have patience with 

1 Arab. " Insanu-ha " = her (i.e. their) man : i.e. the babes of the eyes : the Assyrian 
Ishon, dim. of Ishrrr Man ; which the Hebrews call " Babat " or " Bit" (the daughter); 
the Arabs " Bubu (or Hadakat) al-Ayn"; the Persians " Mardumak-i-chashm " (manni- 
kin of the eye) ; the Greeks K 6pr) and the Latins pupa, pupula, pupilla, I have noted 
this in the Lyricks of Camoens (p. 449). 

2 Ma* an bin Za'idah, a soldier and statesman of the eighth century. 

* The mildness of the Caliph Mu'awiyah, the founder of the Omrniades, proverbial 
among the Arabs, much resembles the " meekness " of Moses the Law-giver, which 
commentators seem to think has been foisted into Numbers xii. 3. 

* Showing that there had been no consummation of the marriage which would have 
demanded "Ghusi", or total ablution, at home or in the Hammam. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zantan. 287 

him yet this third night, and if he go not in unto thee and do 
away thy maidenhead, we shall know how to proceed with him 
and oust him from the throne and banish him the country." 
And on this wise he agreed with his daughter what course he 

would take And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fofjm it to tje 3Ffoo f^untofc an* ent{) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King 
Armanus had agreed with his daughter on this wise and had deter- 
mined what course he would take and night came on, Queen 
Budur arose from the throne of her kingdom and betaking herself 
to the palace, entered the apartment prepared for her. There she 
found the wax-candles lighted and the Princess Hayat al-Nufus 
seated and awaiting her ; whereupon she bethought her of her 
husband and what had betided them both of sorrow and severance 
in so short a space ; she wept and sighed and groaned groan upon 
groan, and began improvising these couplets : 

News of my love fill all the land, I swear, o As suns on Ghaza^-wold 

rain heat and glare : 
Speaketh his geste but hard its sense to say ; o Thus never cease to grow 

my catk and care : 
I hate fair Patience since I loved thee ; o E'er sawest lover hate for 

love to bear ? 
A glance that dealt love-sickness dealt me death, o Glances are deadliest 

things with torments rare : 
He shook his love-locks down and bared his chin, o Whereby I spied his 

beauties dark and fair : 
My care, my cure are in his hands ; and he o Who caused their dolour 

can their dole repair : 

His belt went daft for softness of his waist ; o His hips, for envy, to up- 
rise forbear : 
His brow curl-diademed is murky night ; o Unveil 't and lo ! bright 

Morn shows brightest light. 

When she had finished her versifying, she would have risen to 
pray, but, lo and behold ! Hayat al-Nufus caught her by the skirt 
and clung to her saying, " O my lord, art thou not ashamed before 

1 1 have noticed this notable desert-growth. 

288 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

my father, after all his favour, to neglect me at such a time as 
this ? " When Queen Budur heard her words, she sat down in the 
same place and said, " O my beloved, what is this thou sayest ? " 
She replied, " What I say is that I never saw any so proud of 
himself as thou. Is every fair one so disdainful ? I say not this to 
incline thee to me; I say it only of my fear for thee from King Ar- 
manus ; because he purposeth, unless thou go in unto me this very 
night, and do away my maidenhead, to strip thee of the kingship 
on the morrow and banish thee his kingdom ; and peradventure 
his excessive anger may lead him to slay thee. But I, O my lord, 
have ruth on thee and give thee fair warning ; and it is thy right 
to reck." 1 Now when Queen Budur heard her speak these words, 
she bowed her head ground-wards awhile in sore perplexity and said 
in herself, " If I refuse I'm lost ; and if I obey I'm shamed. But I 
am now Queen of all the Ebony Islands and they are under my 
rule, nor shall I ever again meet my Kamar al-Zaman save in this 
place ; for there is no way for him to his native land but through 
the Ebony Islands. Verily, I know not what to do in my present 
case, but I commit my care to Allah who directeth all for the best, 
for I am no man that I should arise and open this virgin girl." 
Then quoth Queen Budur to Hayat al-Nufus, "O my beloved, 
that I have neglected thee and abstained from thee is in my own 
despite." And she told her her whole story from beginning to 
end and showed her person to her, saying, " I conjure thee by 
Allah to keep my counsel, for I have concealed my case only that 
Allah may reunite me with my beloved Kamar al-Zaman and then 

come what may." And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Noto fojen it tea* tje foo ^untartr anU ISIebtntft Nt'a&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
Lady Budur acquainted Hayat al-Nufus with her history and bade 
her keep it secret, the Princess heard her with extreme wonder- 
ment and was moved to pity and prayed Allah to reunite her with 
her beloved, saying, " Fear nothing, O my sister ; but have patience 

1 The "situation" is admirable, solution appearing so difficult and catastrophe immi- 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 289 

till Allah bring to pass that which must come to pass : " and she 
began repeating : 

None but the men of worth a secret keep ; 

With worthy men a secret's hidden deep ; 

As in a room, so secrets lie with me, 

Whose door is sealed, lock shot and lost the ky. 1 

And when Hayat al-Nufus had ended her verses, she said, " O my 
sister, verily the breasts of the noble and brave are of secrets the 
grave ; and I will not discover thine." Then they toyed and em- 
braced and kissed and slept till near the Mu'ezzin's call to dawn- 
prayer, when Hayat al-Nufus arose and took a pigeon-poult, 2 and 
cut its throat over her smock and besmeared herself with its blood 
Then she pulled off her petticoat-trousers and cried aloud, where- 
upon her people hastened to her and raised the usual lullilooing 
and outcries of joy and gladness. Presently her mother came in 
to her and asked her how she did and busied herself about her and 
abode with her till evening ; whilst the Lady Budur arose with 
the dawn, and repaired to the bath and, after washing herself pure, 
proceeded to the hall of audience, where she sat down on her 
throne and dispensed justice among the folk. Now when King 
Armanus heard the loud cries of joy, he asked what was the matter 
and was informed of the consummation of his daughter's marriage ; 
whereat he rejoiced and his breast swelled with gladness and he 
made a great marriage-feast whereof the merry-making lasted a 
long time. Such was their case : but as regards King Shahriman 
it was on this wise. After his son had fared forth to the chase 
accompanied by Marzawan, as before related, he tarried patiently 
awaiting their return at nightfall ; but when his son did not appear* 
he passed a sleepless night and the dark hours were longsome 

1 This quatrain occurs in Night ix. : I have borrowed from Torrens (p. 79) by way of 

2 The belief that young pigeon's blood resembles the virginal discharge is universal ; 
but the blood most resembling man's is that of the pig which in other points is so veiy 
human. In our day Arabs and Hindus rarely submit to inspection the nuptial sheet as 
practised by the Israelites and Persians. The bride takes to bed a white kerchief with 
which she staunches the blood and next morning the stains are displayed in the Harem- 
In Darfour this is done by the bridegroom. l Prima Venus debet esse cruenta," say the 
Easterns with much truth, and they have no faith in our complaisant creed which allows 
the hymen-membrane to disappear by any but one accident. 


29 Alf Laylah va Laylah. 

upon him ; his restlessness was excessive, his excitement grew 
upon him and he thought the morning would never dawn. And 
when day broke he sat expecting his son and waited till noon, but 
he came not ; whereat his heart forebode separation and was fired 
with fears for Kamar al-Zaman ; and he cried, " Alas ! my son!" 
and he wept till his clothes were drenched with tears, and repeated 
with a beating heart : 

Love's votaries I ceased not to oppose, o Till doomed to taste Love's bitter 

and Love's sweet : 
I drained his rigour-cup to very dregs, o Self-humbled at its slaves' and 

freemen's feet : 
Fortune had sworn to part the loves of us ; o She kept her word how truly, 

well I weet I 

And when he ended his verse, he wiped away his tears and bade 
his troops make ready for a march and prepare for a long expe- 
dition. So they all mounted and set forth, headed by the Sultan, 
whose heart burnt with grief and was fired with anxiety for his 
son Kamar al-Zaman ; and they advanced by forced marches. 
Now the King divided his host into six divisions, a right wing and 
a left wing, a vanguard and a rear-guard j 1 and bade them rendez- 
vous for the morrow at the cross-roads. Accordingly they sepa- 
rated and scoured the country all the rest of that day till night, 
and they marched through the night and at noon of the ensuing 
day they joined company at the place where four roads met. But 
they knew not which the Prince followed, till they saw the sign of 
torn clothes and sighted shreds of flesh and beheld blood still 
sprinkled by the way and they noted every piece of the clothes 
and fragment of mangled flesh scattered on all sides. Now when 
King Shahriman saw this, he cried from his heart-core a loud cry, 
saying, " AJas, my son ! "; and buffetted his face and pluckt his 
beard and rent his raiment, doubting not but his son was dead. 
Then he gave himself up to excessive weeping and wailing, and the 
troops also wept for his weeping, all being assured that Prince 
Kamar al-Zaman had perished. They threw dust on their heads, 
and the night surprised them shedding tears and lamenting till 
they were like to die. Then the King with a heart on fire and 
with burning sighs spake these couplets : 

1 Not meaning the two central divisions commanded by the King and his Wazir. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 291 

Chide not the mourner for bemourning woe ; o Enough is yearning 
every 111 to show : 

He weeps for stress of sorrow and of pain, o And these to thee 

best evidence his lowe : 

Happy ! * of whom Love-sickness swore that ne'er o Should cease his eye- 
lids loving tears to flow : 

He mourns the loss of fairest, fullest Moon, o Shining o'er all his 
peers in glorious glow : 

But death made drink a brimming cup, what day o He fared from natal 
country fain to go : 

His home left he and went from us to grief; o Nor to his brethren 
could he say adieu : 

Yea, his loss wounded me with parting pangs, o And separation cost 
me many a throe : 

He fared farewelling, as he fared, our eyes; o Whenas his Lord vouch- 
safed him Paradise. 

And when King Shahriman had ended his verses, he returned 

with the troops to his capital, And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

jEofo fofjen it foas t$e Sfoo f^untoeU auto foeltt& Jltgfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King 
Shahriman had ended his verses, he returned with the troops to 
his capital, giving up his son for lost, and deeming that wild 
beasts or banditti had set upon him and torn him to pieces ; and 
made proclamation that all in the Khalidan Islands should don 
black in mourning for him. Moreover, he built, in his memory, 
a pavilion, naming it House of Lamentations ; and on Mondays 
and Thursdays he devoted himself to the business of the state and 
ordering the affairs of his levies and lieges ; and the rest of the 
week he was wont to spend in the House of Lamentations, mourn- 
ing for his son and bewailing him with elegiac verses, 2 of which 
the following are some : 

My day of bliss is that when thou appearest ; o My day of bale 8 is 

that whereon thou farest : 
Though through the night I quake in dread of death ; o Union wi' thee is of 

all bliss the dearest. 

1 Ironid. 

2 Arab. " Rasy " = praising in a funeral sermon. 

* Arab. ' Manaya," plur. of Maniyat = death. Mr. R. S. Poole (the Academy, 
April 26 r 1879,) reproaches Mr. Payne for confounding "Muniyat" (desire) with 
" Maniyat" (death) ; but both are written the same except when vowel-points are used. 

292 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

And again he said : 

My soul be sacrifice for one, whose going o Afflicted hearts with sufferings 

sore and dread : 
Let joy her widowed term 1 fulfil, for I o Divorced joy with the divorce 

thrice-said. 2 

Such was the case with King Shahriman ; but as regards Queen 
Budur daughter of King Ghayur, she abode as ruler in the Ebon/ 
Islands, whilst the folk would point to her with their fingers, and 
say, " Yonder rs the son-in-law of King Armanus." And every 
night she lay with Hayat al-Nufus, to whom she lamented her 
desolate state and longing for her husband Kamar al-Zaman, 
weeping and describing to her his beauty and loveliness, and 
yearning to enjoy him though but in a dream: And at times she 
would repeat : 

Well Allah wots that since my severance from thee, o I wept till forced to 

borrow tears at usury : 
" Patience ! " my blamer cried, " Heartsease right soon shalt see ! * o Quoth I, 

" Say, blamer, where may home of Patience be ? n 

This is how it fared with Queen Budur ; but as regards Kamat 
al-Zaman, he abode with the gardener in the garden for no short 
time, weeping night and day and repeating verses bewailing the 
past time of enjoyment and delight ; whilst the gardener kept 
comforting him and assuring him that the ship would set sail for 
the land of the Moslems at the end of the year. And in this 
condition he continued till one day he saw the folk crowding 
together and wondered at this ; but the gardener came in to him 
and said, " O my son, give over work for this day nor lead water 
to the trees ; for it is a festival day, whereon folk visit one another. 
So take thy rest and only keep thine eye on the garden, whilst I 
go look after the ship for thee ; for yet but a little while and I 
send thee to the land of the Moslems." Upon this, he went forth 
from the garden leaving to himself Kamar al-Zaman, who fell to 
musing upon his case till his heart was like to break and the tears 
streamed from his eyes. So he wept with excessive weeping til 

1 Arab. " Iddat," alluding to the months of celibacy which, according to Moslem 
law, must be passed by a divorced woman before she can re-marry. 

* Arab. " Talak bil-Salasah " =: a triple divorce which cannot be revoked J nor can 
the divorcer re-many the same woman till frfter consul" niqtfcn with another husband* 
This subject will continually ream 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 293 

he swooned away and, when he recovered, he rose and walked 
about the garden, pondering what Time had done with him and 
bewailing the long endurance of his estrangement and separation 
from those he loved. As he was thus absorbed in melancholy 
thought, his foot stumbled and he fell on his face, his forehead 
Striking against the projecting root of a tree ; and the blow cut 
it open and his blood ran down and mingled with his tears. 
Then he rose and, wiping away the blood, dried his tears and 
bound his brow with a piece of rag ; then continued his walk 
about the garden engrossed by sad reverie. Presently, he looked 
up at a tree and saw two birds quarrelling thereon, and one of them 
rose up and smote the other with its beak on the neck and severed 
from its body its head, wherewith it flew away, whilst the slain 
bird fell to the ground before Kamar al-Zaman. As it lay, behold, 
two great birds swooped down upon it alighting, one at the head 
and the other at the tail, and both drooped their wings and bowed 
their bills over it and, extending their necks towards it, wept. 
Kamar al-Zaman also wept when seeing the birds thus bewail 
their mate, and called to mind his wife and father, -- And Shah- 
razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her per- 
mitted say. 

jioto tojen it toa0 tije 2Etoo ^untoft an* f)ttteenti) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar al- 
Zaman wept and lamented his separation from spouse and sire, 
when he beheld those two birds weeping over their mate. Then 
he looked at the twain and saw them dig a grave and therein bury 
the slain bird ; after which they flew away far into the firmament 
and disappeared for a while ; but presently they returned with the 
murtherer-bird and, alighting on the grave of the murthered, 
stamped on the slayer till they had done him to death. Then 
they rent his belly and tearing out his entrails, poured the blood 
on the grave of the slain 1 : moreover, they stripped off his skin 

1 An allusion to a custom of the pagan Arabs in the days of ignorant Heathenism. 
The blood or brain, soul or personality of the murdered man formed a bird called Sady 
or Hamah (not the Huma or Humai, usually translated "phoenix") which sprang from 
the head, where four of the five senses have their seat, and haunted his tomb, crying 
continually, " Uskuni ! " = Give me drink (of the slayer's blood)! and which disappeared 
only when the vendetta was accomplished. Mohammed forbade the belief. Amongst 
the Southern Slavs the cuckoo is supposed to be the sister of a murdered man eve* 
calling for vengeance. 

294 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

and tare his flesh in pieces and, pulling out the rest of the bowels, 
scattered them hither and thither. All this while Kamar al- 
Zaman was watching them wonderingly ; but presently, chancing 
to look at the place where the two birds had slain the third, he 
saw therein something gleaming. So he drew near to it and noted 
that it was the crop of the dead bird. Whereupon he took it and 
opened it and found the talisman which had been the cause of his 
separation from his wife. But when he saw it and knew it, he fell 
to the ground a-fainting for joy ; and, when he revived, he said, 
" Praised be Allah ! This is a foretaste of good and a presage 
of reunion with my beloved." Then he examined the jewel and 
passed it over his eyes * ; after which he bound it to his forearm, 
rejoicing in coming weal, and walked about till nightfall awaiting 
the gardener's return ; and when he came not, he lay down and 
slept in his wonted place. At daybreak he rose to his work and, 
girding his middle with a cord of palm-fibre, took hatchet and 
basket and walked down the length of the garden, till he came to 
a carob-tree and struck the axe into its roots. The blow rang and 
resounded ; so he cleared away the soil from the place and dis- 
covered a trap-door and raised it. And Shahrazad perceived 

,the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Noto fcoften it teas tlje Tfoo fQuufcrefc anto JpourtccnUj Xtgjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Kamar 
al-Zaman raised the trap-door, he found a winding stair, which he 
descended and came to an ancient vault of the time of Ad and 
Thamud, 2 hewn out of the rock. Round the vault stood many 
brazen vessels of the bigness of a great oil-jar which he found full 
of gleaming red gold : whereupon he said to himself, " Verily sor- 
row is gone and solace is come ! " Then he mounted from the 
souterrain to the garden and, replacing the trap-door as it was 
before, busied himself in conducting water to the trees till the last 
of the day, when the gardener came back and said to him, " O my 
son, rejoice at the good tidings of a speedy return to thy native 
land : the merchants are ready equipped for the voyage and the 

1 To obtain a blessing and show how he valued it. 

8 Well-known tribes of proto-historic Arabs who flourished before the time of 
Abraham : see Koran (chapt. xxvi. et passim]. They will be repeatedly mentioned 
in The Nights and notes. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 295 

ship in three days' time will set sail for the City of Ebony, which 
is the first of the cities of the Moslems ; and after making it, thou 
must travel by land a six months' march till thou come to the 
Islands of Khalidan, the dominions of King Shahriman." At 
this Kamar al-Zaman rejoiced and began repeating : 

Part not from one whose wont is not to part from you ; * Nor with your cruel 

taunts an innocent mortify : 
Another so long-parted had ta'en heart from you, And had his whole 

condition changed, but not so I. 

Then he kissed the gardener's hand and said, " O my father, even 
as thou hast brought me glad tidings, so I also have great good 
news for thee," and told him anent his discovery of the vault ; 
whereat the gardener rejoiced and said, "O my son, fourscore 
years have I dwelt in this garden and have never hit on aught; 
whilst thou, who hast not sojourned with me a year, hast dis- 
covered this thing ; wherefore it is Heaven's gift to thee, which 
shall end thy crosses and aid thee to rejoin thy folk and foregather 
with her thou lovest." Quoth Kamar al-Zaman, " There is no help 
but it must be shared between me and thee." Then he carried him 
to the underground-chamber and showed him the gold, which was 
in twenty jars : he took ten and the gardener ten, and the old man 
said to him, " O my son, fill thyself leather bottles 1 with the 
sparrow-olives 2 which grow in this garden, for they are not found 
except in our land ; and the merchants carry them to all parts. 
Lay the gold in the bottles and strew it over with olives : then stop 
them and cover them and take them with thee in the ship." So 
Kamar al-Zaman arose without stay or delay and took fifty leather 
bottles and stored in each somewhat of the gold, and closed each 
one after placing a layer of olives over the gold ; and at the bottom 
of one of the bottles he laid the talisman. Then sat he down to 
talk with the gardener, confident of speedy reunion with his own 
people and saying to himself, " When I come to the Ebony Islands 

1 Arab. " Amtar " j plur of " Matr," a large vessel of leather or wood for water, etc. 

2 Arab. " Asafiri," so called because they attract sparrows (asaffr) a bird very fond of 
the ripe oily fruit. In the Romance of "Antar" Asafir camels are beasts that fly 
like birds in fleetness. The reader must not confound the olives of the text with the 
hard unripe berries ("little plums pickled in stale ") which appear at English tables; 
nor wonder that bread and olives are the beef-steak and potatoes of many Mediterra- 
nean peoples. It is an excellent diet, the highly oleaginous fruit supplying the necessary 

296 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

I will journey thence to my father's country and enquire for my 
beloved Budur. Would to Heaven I knew whether she returned 
to her own land or journeyed on to my father's country or whether 
there befel her any accident by the way." And he began versi- 
fying : - 

Love in my breast they lit and fared away, <* And far the land wherein 

my love is pent : 
Far lies the camp and those who camp therein ; o Far is her tent-shrine, 

where I ne'er shall tent. 
Patience far fled me when from me they fled ; tf Sleep failed mine eyes, 

endurance was forspent ; 
They left and with them left my every joy, o Wending with them, nor 

find I peace that went : 
They made these eyes roll down love-tears in flood, And lacking them these 

eyne with tears are drent . 

When my triste spirit once again would see them, o When pine and expec- 
tation but augment, 
In my heart's core their counterfeits I trace, o With love and yearning 

to behold their grace. 

Then, while he awaited the end of the term of days, he told the 
gardener the tale of the birds and what had passed between them ; 
whereat the hearer wondered ; and they both lay down and slept 
till the morning. The gardener awoke sick and abode thus two 
days ; but on the third day, his sickness increased on him, till 
they despaired of his life and Kamar al-Zaman grieved with sore 
grief for him. Meanwhile behold, the Master and his crew came 
and enquired for the gardener ; and, when Kamar al-Zaman told 
them that he was sick, they asked, " Where be the youth who is 
minded to go with us to the Ebony Islands ? " " He is your ser- 
vant and he standeth before you ! " answered the Prince and bade 
them carry the bottles of olives to the ship ; so they transported 
them, saying, " Make haste, thou, for the wind is fair ; " and he re- 
plied, " I hear and obey." Then he carried his provaunt on board 
and, returning to bid the gardener farewell, found him in the, 
agonies of death ; so he sat down at his head and closed his eyes, 
and his soul departed his body ; whereupon he laid him out and 
committed him to the earth unto the mercy of Allah Almighty. 
Then he made for the ship but found that she had already weighed 
anchor and set sail ; nor did she cease to cleave the seas till she 
disappeared from his sight. So he went back to whence he came 
heavy-hearted with whirling head ; and neither would he address 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 297 

a soul nor return a reply ; and reaching the garden and sitting 
down in cark and care he threw dust on his head and buffeted his 
cheeks. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 
saying her permitted say. 

fojen it foas tje too f^untoU anfc jptftecntj 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the 
ship sped on her course, Kamar al-Zaman returned to the garden 
in cark and care ; but anon he rented the place of its owner and 
hired a man to help him in irrigating the trees. Moreover, he re- 
paired the trap-door and he went to the underground chamber and 
bringing the rest of the gold to grass, stowed it in other fifty 
bottles which he filled up with a layer of olives. Then he enquired 
of the ship and they told him that it sailed but once a year ; at 
which his trouble of mind redoubled and he cried sore for that 
which had betided him, above all for the loss of the Princess 
Budur's talisman, and spent his nights and days weeping and re- 
peating verses. Such was his case ; but as regards the ship she 
sailed with a favouring wind till she reached the Ebony Islands. 
Now by decree of destiny, Queen Budur was sitting at a lattice- 
window overlooking the sea and saw the galley cast anchor upon 
the strand. At this sight, her heart throbbed and she took horse 
with the Chamberlains and Nabobs and, riding down to the shore, 
halted by the ship, whilst the sailors broke bulk and bore the bales 
to the storehouses ; after which she called the captain to her pre- 
sence and asked what he had with him. He answered " O King, 
I have with me in this ship aromatic drugs and cosmetics and 
healing powders and ointments and plasters and precious metals 
and rich stuffs and rugs of Yemen leather, not to be borne of mule 
or camel, and all manner of ottars and spices and perfumes, civet 
and ambergris and camphor and Sumatra aloes-wood, and tama- 
rinds 1 and sparrow-olives to boot, such as are rare to find in this 
country." When she heard talk of sparrow-olives her heart longed 

1 Arab. "Tamar al-Hindi" = the " Indian-date/* whence our word "Tamarind." 
A sherbet of the pods, being slightly laxative, is much drunk during the great heats ; 
and the dried fruit, made into small round cakes, is sold in the bazars. The traveller is 
advised not to sleep under the tamarind's shade, which is infamous for causing ague and 
fever. In Sind I derided the "native nonsense," passed the night under an " Indian 
date-tree" and awoke with a fine specimen of ague which lasted me a week- 

298 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

for them and she said to the ship-master, " How much of olives 
hast thou ? " He replied. Fifty bottles full, but their owner is 
not with us ; so the King shall take what he will of them." Quoth 
she, "Bring them ashore, that I may see them." Thereupon he 
called to the sailors, who brought her the fifty bottles ; and she 
opened one and, looking at the olives, said to the captain, " I will 
take the whole fifty and pay you their value, whatso it be." He 
answered, "By Allah, O my lord, they have no value in our 
country; moreover their shipper tarried behind us, and he is a poor 
man. 5 ' Asked she, " And what are they worth here ? " and he 
answered " A thousand dirhams." " I will take them at a thou- 
sand," she said and bade them carry the fifty bottles to the palace. 
When it was night, she called for a bottle of olives and opened it, 
there being none in the room but herself and the Princess Hayat 
al-Nufus. Then, placing a dish before her she turned into it the 
contents of the jar, when there fell out into the dish with the olives 
a heap of red gold; and she said to the Lady Hayat al-Nufus, 
" This is naught but gold ! " So she sent for the rest of the bottles 
and found them all full of precious metal and scarce enough olives 
to fill a single jar. Moreover, she sought among the gold and 
found therein the talisman, which she took and examined and 
behold, it was that which Kamar al-Zaman had taken from off the 
band of her petticoat trousers. Thereupon she cried out for joy 

and slipped down in a swoon ; And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fojen it foas tfje foo f^tmUrefc an* gbfotcenti) Nij&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King 
Budur saw the talisman she cried out for joy and slipped down in 
a swoon ; and when she recovered she said to herself, " Verily, this 
talisman was the cause of my separation from my beloved Kamar 
al-Zaman; but now it is an omen of good." Then she showed it 
to Hayat al-Nufus and said to her, " This was the cause of dis- 
union and now, please Allah, it shall be the cause of reunion." As 
soon as day dawned she seated herself on the royal throne and 
sent for the ship-master, who came into the presence and kissed 
the ground before her. Quoth she, " Where didst thou leave the 
owner of these olives ? " Quoth he, " O King of the age, we left 
him in the land of the Magians and he is a gardener there." She 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 299 

rejoined, " Except thou bring him to me, thou knowest riot the 
harm which awaiteth thee and thy ship." Then she bade them 
seal up the magazines of the merchants and said to them, " Verily 
the owner of these olives hath borrowed of me and I have a claim 
upon him for debt and, unless ye bring him to me, I will without 
fail do you all die and seize your goods." So they went to the 
captain and promised him the hire of the ship, if he would go and 
return a second time, saying, " Deliver us from this masterful 
tyrant." Accordingly the skipper embarked and set sail and 
Allah decreed him a prosperous voyage, till he came to the Island 
of the Magians and, landing by night, went up to the garden. 
Now the night was long upon Kamar al-Zaman, and he sat, 
bethinking him of his beloved, and bewailing what had befallen 
him and versifying : 

A night whose stars refused to run their course, o A night of those which never 

seem outworn : 
Like Resurrection-day, of longsome length 1 o To him that watched and 

waited for the morn. 

Now at this' moment, the captain knocked at the garden-gate, and 
Kamar al-Zaman opened and went out to him, whereupon the 
crew seized him and went down with him on board the ship and 
set sail forthright; and they ceased not voyaging days and nights, 
whilst Kamar al-Zaman knew not why they dealt thus with him ; 
but when he questioned them they replied, " Thou hast offended 
against the Lord of the Ebony Islands, the son-in-law of King 
Armanus, and thou hast stolen his monies, miserable that thou 
art ! " Said he, " By Allah ! I never entered that country nor do I 
know where it is ! " However, they fared on with him, till they 
made the Ebony Islands and landing, carried him up to the Lady 
Budur, who knew him at sight and said, " Leave him with the 
eunuchs, that they may take him to the bath." Then she relieved 
the merchants of the embargo and gave the captain a robe of 
honour worth ten thousand pieces of gold ; and, after returning to 

1 Moslems are not agreed upon the length of the Day of Doom when all created 
things, marshalled by the angels, await final judgement ; the different periods named are 
40 years, 70, 300 and 50,000. Yet the trial itself will last no longer than while one may 
milk an ewe, or than " the space between two milkings of a she-camel." This is bring- 
ing down Heaven to Earth with a witness ; but, after all, the Heaven of all faiths, 
including " Spiritualism," the latest development, ic only an earth more or less glorified 
even as the Deity is humanity more or less perfected. 

3OO A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

the palace, she went in that night to the Princess Hayat al-Nufus 
and told her what had passed, saying, " Keep thou my counsel, 
till I accomplish my purpose, and do a deed which shall be 
recorded and shall be read by Kings and commoners after we be 
dead and gone." And when she gave orders that they bear Kamar 
al-Zaman to the bath, they did so and clad him in a royal habit so 
that, when he came forth, he resembled a willow-bough or a star 
which shamed the greater and lesser light 1 and its glow, and his 
life and soul returned to his frame. Then he repaired to the 
palace and went in to the Princess Budur ; and when she saw him 
she schooled her heart to patience, till she should have accom- 
plished her purpose; and she bestowed on him Mamelukes and 
eunuchs, camels and mules. Moreover, she gave him a treasury of 
money and she ceased not advancing him from dignity to dignity, 
till she made him Lord High Treasurer and committed to his 
charge all the treasures of the state ; and she admitted him to 
familiar favour and acquainted the Emirs with his rank and 
dignity. And all loved him, for Queen Budur did not cease day 
by day to increase his allowances. As for Kamar al-Zaman, he 
was at a loss anent the reason of her thus honouring him ; and he 
gave gifts and largesse out of the abundance of the wealth ; and 
he devoted himself to the service of King Armanus ; so that the 
King and all the Emirs and people, great and small, adored him 
and were wont to swear by his life. Nevertheless, he ever mar- 
velled at the honour and favour shown him by Queen Budur and 
said to himself, " By Allah, there needs must be a reason for this 
affection ! Peradventure, this King favoureth me not with these 
immoderate favours save for some ill purpose and, therefore, 
there is no help but that I crave leave of him to depart his 
realm." So he went in to Queen Budur and said to her, " O 
King, thou hast overwhelmed me with favours, but it will fulfil 
the measure of thy bounties if thou take from me all thou hast 
been pleased to bestow upon me, and permit me to depart." She 
smiled and asked, " What maketh thee seek to depart and plunge 
into new perils, whenas thou art in the enjoyment of the highest 
favour and greatest prosperity ? " Answered Kamar al-Zaman^ 

1 Arab. " Al-Kamarani," lit. " the two moons." Arab rhetoric prefers it to 
' Shamsani," or " two suns," because lighter (akhaff), to pronounce. So, albeit Omar 
was less worthy than Abu-Bakr the two are called " Al-Omarani," in vulgar par- 
lance, Omarayn. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 301 

*' O King, verily this favour, if there be no reason for it, is indeed 
a wonder of wonders, more by token that thou hast advanced me 
to dignities such as befit men of age and experience, albeit I am 
as it were a young child." And Queen Budur rejoined, " The 
reason is that I love thee for thine exceeding loveliness and thy 
surpassing beauty ; and if thou wilt but grant me my desire of 
thy body, I will advance thee yet farther in honour and favour 
and largesse ; and I will make thee Wazir, for all thy tender age, 
even as the folk made me Sultan over them and I no older than 
thou ; so that nowadays there is nothing strange when children 
take the head and by Allah, he was a gifted man who said : 

It seems as though of Lot's tribe were our days, o And crave with love to 
advance the young in years. 1 

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these words, he was abashed and 
his cheeks flushed till they seemed a-flame ; and he said, " I need 
not these favours which lead to the commission of sin ; I will live 
poor in wealth but wealthy in virtue and honour/' Quoth she, 
4< I am not to be duped by thy scruples, arising from prudery and 
coquettish ways ; and Allah bless him who saith : 

To him I spake of coupling, but he said to me, o " How long this noyous long 

persistency ?" 
But when gold piece I showed him, he cried, o " Who from the Almighty 

Sovereign e'er shall flee?" 

Now when Kamar al-Zaman, heard these words and understood 
her verses and their import, he said, " O King, I have not the 
habit of these doings, nor have I strength to bear these heavy 
burthens for which elder than I have proved unable ; then how 
will it be with my tender age?" But she smiled at his speech 
and retorted, " Indeed, it is a matter right marvellous how error 
springeth from the disorder of man's intendiment! Since thou 
art a boy, why standest thou in fear of sin or the doing of things 
forbidden, seeing that thou art not yet come to years of canonical 
responsibility; and the offences of a child incur neither punish- 
ment nor reproof? Verily, thou hast committed thyself to a 
quibble for the sake of contention, and it is thy duty to bow 

1 Alluding to the angels who appeared to the Sodomites in the shape of beautiful 
youths (Koran xi). 

302 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

before a proposal of fruition, so henceforward cease from denial 
and coyness, for the commandment of Allah is a decree fore- 
ordained : ! indeed, I have more reason than thou to fear falling 
and by sin to be misled ; and well-inspired was he who said : 

My prickle is big and the little one said, o Thrust boldly in vitals with lion- 
like stroke ! 

Then I, Tis a sin ! ; and he, No sin to me ! o So I had him at once with a 
counterfeit poke." z 

When Kamar al-Zaman heard these 'words, the light became dark- 
ness in his sight and he said, " O King, thou hast in thy household 
fair women and female slaves, who have not their like in this age : 
shall not these suffice thee without me ? Do thy will with them 
and let me go ! " She replied, " Thou sayest sooth, but it is not 
with them that one who loveth thee can heal himself of torment 
and can abate his fever; for, when tastes and inclinations are 
corrupted by vice, they hear and obey other than good advice. 
So leave arguing and listen to what the poet saith : 

Seest not the bazar with its fruit in rows ? o These men are for figs and for 
sycomore 3 those! 

And what another saith : 

Many whose anklet-rings are dumb have tinkling belts, o And this hath all 

content while that for want must wail : 
Thou bidd'st me be a fool and quit thee for her charms ; o Allah forfend I leave 

The Faith, turn Infidel ! 
Nay, by thy rights of side-beard mocking all her curls, o Nor mott nor maid 4 

from thee my heart shall spell. 

1 Koran xxxiii. 38. 

2 " Niktu-hu taklfdan " i.e. not the real thing (with a woman). It may also mean 
"by his incitement of me." All this scene is written in the worst form of Persian- 
Egyptian blackguardism, and forms a curious anthropological study. The "black 
joke " of the true and modest wife is inimitable. 

3 Arab. "Jamiz" (in Egypt " Jammayz ") = the fruit of the true sycomore (F. 
Sycomorus) a magnificent tree which produces a small tasteless fig, eaten by the poorer 
classes in Egypt and by monkeys. The "Tin " or real fig here is the woman's parts ; 
the "mulberry-fig," the anus. Martial (i. 65) makes the following distinction : 

Dicemus ficus, quas scimus in arbore nasci, 
Dicemus ficos, Caeciliane, tuos. 

And Modern Italian preserves a difference between Jico and fica. 

4 Arab. "Ghaniyat Azdra"" (plur. of Azra" = virgin) : the former is properly a 
woman who despises ornaments and relies on " beauty unadorned " (i.e. in bed). 

Tale of Kamar al-Zamdn. 303 

And yet another : 

O beauty's Union ! love for thee's my creed ; o Free choice of Faith and eke 

my best desire : 
Women I have forsworn for thee; so may o Deem me all men this day a 

shaveling friar. 1 

And yet another : 

Even not beardless one with girl, nor heed o The spy who saith to thee 

" 'Tis an amiss ! " 
Far different is the girl whose feet one kisses o And that gazelle whose feet the 

earth must kiss. 

And yet another : 

A boy of twice ten is fit for a King ! 

And yet another : 

The penis smooth and round was made with anus best to match it ; Had H 
been made for cunnus' sake it had been formed like hatchet ! 

And yet another said : 

My soul thy sacrifice ! I chose thee out o Who art not menstruous nor ovi- 
parous : 

Did I with woman mell, I should beget o Brats till the wide wide world grew 
strait for us. 

And yet another I- 
She saith (sore hurt in sense the most acute o For she had proffered 

what did not besuit) : 
" Unless thou stroke as man should swive his wife o Blame not when horns thy 

brow shall incornute ! " 
"Thy wand seems waxen, to a limpo grown, o And more I palm it, 

softer grows the brute ! " 

And yet another : 

Quoth she (for I to lie with her forbore), o " O folly-following fool^ O fool 
to core : 

1 "Nihil usitatius apud monachos, cardinales, sacrificulos," says Johannes de la Casat 
Beneventius Episcopus, quoted by Burton Anat. of Mel. lib. iii. Sect. 2; and the 
famous epitaph on the Jesuit, 

Ci-git un Jesuite : 

Passant, serre les fesses et passe vite 1 

304 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

If thou my coynte for Kiblah 1 to thy coigne o Reject, we'll show thee what 
shall please thee more." * 

And yet another : 

She proffered me a tender coynte o Quoth I " I will not roger thee ! " 

She drew back> saying, " From the Faith o Returns, who's turned by Heaven's 

decree I" 8 

And front-wise futtering, in one day, o Is obsolete persistency ! " 
Then swung she round and shining rump o Like silvern lump she showed 

me ! " 

1 cried : "Well done, O mistress mine ! o No more am I in pain for thee ; 
O thou of all that Allah oped* o Showest me fairest victory ! u 

And yet another : 

Men craving pardon will uplift their hands ; o Women pray pardon with their 

legs on high : 
Out on it for a pious, prayerful work ! o The Lord shall raise it in the 

depths to lie. 8 

When Kamar al-Zaman heard her quote this poetry, and was 
certified that there was no escaping compliance with what willed 
she, he said, " O King of the age, if thou must needs have it so, 
make covenant with me that thou wilt do this thing with me but 

1 Arab. " Kiblah " = the fronting-place of prayer, Meccah for Moslems, Jerusalem for 
Jews and early Christians. See Pilgrimage (ii. 321) for the Moslem change from Jeru- 
salem to Meccah and ibid. ii. 213 for the way in which the direction was shown. 

2 The Koran says (chapt. ii.) : " Your wives are your tillage : go in therefore unto 
your tillage in what manner so ever ye will." Usually this is understood as meaning in 
any posture, standing or sitting, lying, backwards or forwards. Yet there is a popular 
saying about the man whom the woman rides (vulg. St. George, in France, le Postilion) ; 
" Cursed be who maketh woman Heaven and himself earth ! " Some hold the Koranic 
passage to have been revealed in confutation of the Jews, who pretended that if a man 
lay with his wife backwards, he would beget a cleverer child. Others again understand 
it of preposterous venery, which is absurd : every ancient law-giver framed his code to 
Increase the true wealth of the people population and severely punished all processes, 
like onanism, which impeded it. The Persians utilise the hatred of women for such 
misuse when they would force a wive to demand a divorce and thus forfeit her claim to 
Mahr (dowry) ; they convert them into catamites till, after a month or so, they lose all 
patience and leave the house. 

9 Koran Ii. 9 : " He will be turned aside from the Faith (or Truth) who shall be turned 
aside by the Divine decree ; " alluding^ in the text, to the preposterous venery her lover 

4 Arab. " Futiih " meaning openings, and also victories, benefits. The lover congratu- 
lates her on her mortifying self in order to please him. 

8 " And the righteous work will be exalt ": (Koran xxxv. ii) applied ironically. 

Tale of Kamar al*Zaman. 305 

once, though it avail not to correct thy depraved appetite ; and 
that thou wilt never again require this thing of me to the end of 
time ; so perchance shall Allah purge me of the sin." She replied, 
" I promise thee this same, hoping that Allah of His favour will 
relent towards us and blot out our mortal offence ; for the girdle 
of heaven's forgiveness is not indeed so strait, but it may compass 
us around and absolve us of the excess of our heinous sins and 
bring us to the light of salvation out of the darkness of error ; and 
indeed excellently well saith the poet : 

Of evil thing the folk suspect us twain ; * And to this thought their hearts 

and souls are bent : 
Come, dear ! let's justify and free their souls That wrong us ; one good bout 

and then repent ! " l 

Thereupon she made with him an agreement and a covenant and 
swore a solemn oath by Him who is Self-existent, that this thing 
should befal betwixt them but once and never again for all time, 
and that the desire of him was driving her to death and perdition. 
iSo he rose up with her, on this condition, and went with her to 
her own boudoir, that she might quench the lowe of her lust, 
saying, " There is no Majesty, and there is no Might save in Allah, 
the Glorious, the Great ! This is the fated decree of the All- 
powerful, the All-wise 1 " ; and he doffed his bag-trousers, shame- 
full and abashed, with the tears running from his eyes for stress of 
affright. Thereat she smiled and making him mount upon a couch 
with her, said to him, " After this night, thou shalt see naught that 
will offend thee." Then she turned to him bussing and bosoming 
him and bending calf over calf, and said to him, " Put thy hand 
between my thighs to the accustomed place; so haply it may stand 
up to prayer after prostration." He wept and cried, " I am not 
good at aught of this/' but she said, " By my life, an thou do as I 
bid thee, it shall profit thee ! " So he put out his hand, with vitals 

1 A prolepsis of Tommy Moore : 

Your mother says, my little Venus, 

There's something not quite right between us, 

And you're in fault as much as I, 
Now, on my soul, my little Venus, 
I swear 'twould not be right between us, 

To let your mother tell a lie. 

But the Arab is more moral than Mr. Little, as he proposes to repent*. 

36 A If Laylah wa Laylak 

a-fire for confusion, and found her thighs cooler than cream and 
softer than silk. The touching of them pleasured him and he 
moved his hand hither and thither, till it came to a dome abound- 
ing in good gifts and movements and shifts, and said in himself, 
" Perhaps this King is an hermaphrodite, 1 neither man nor woman 
quite ; " so he said to her, " O King, I cannot find that thou hast a 
tool like the tools of men ; what then moved thee to do this 
deed ? " Then loudly laughed Queen Budur till she fell on her 
back, 2 and said, " O my dearling, how quickly thou hast forgotten 
the nights we have lain together ! " Then she made herself known 
to him, and he knew her for his wife, the Lady Budur, daughter of 
King al-Ghayur, Lord of the Isles and the Seas. So he embraced 
her and she embraced him, and he kissed her and she kissed him ; 
then they lay down on the bed of pleasure voluptuous, repeating 
the words of the poet : 

When his softly bending shape bid him close to my embrace o Which dipt 
him all about like the tendrils of the vine, 

And shed a flood of softness on the hardness of his heart, o He yielded ; 
though at first he was minded to decline ; 

And dreading lest the railer's eye should light upon his form, o Came ar- 
moured with caution to baffle his design : 

His waist makes moan of hinder cheeks that weigh upon his feet o Like heavy 
load of merchandise upon young camel li'en ; 

Girt with his glances 'scymitar which seemed athirst for blood, o And clad in 
mail of dusky curls that show the sheeniest shine, 

1 Arab. " Khunsa" flexible or flaccid, from Khans r= bending inwards, i.e. the mouth 
of a water-skin before drinking. Like Mukhannas, it is also used for an effeminate man, 
a passive sodomite and even for a eunuch. Easterns still believe in what Westerns 
know to be an impossibility, human beings with the parts and proportions of both sexes 
equally developed and capable of reproduction; and Al-Islam even provides special 
rules for them (Pilgrimage iii. 237). We hold them to be Buffon's fourth class of 
(duplicate) monsters, belonging essentially to one or the other sex, and related to its 
opposite only by some few characteristics. The old Greeks dreamed, after their fashion, 
a beautiful poetic dream of a human animal uniting the contradictory beauties of man and 
woman. The duality of the generative organs seems an old Egyptian tradition; at least we 
find it in Genesis (i. 27), where the image of the Deity is created male and female, before 
man was formed out of the dust of the ground (ii. 7). The old tradition found its way 
to India (if the Hindus did not borrow the idea from the Greeks) ; and one of the forms 
of Mahadeva, the third person of their triad, is entitled " Ardhanari " = the Half-woman, 
which has suggested to them some charming pictures. Europeans, seeing the left breast 
Conspicuously feminine, have indulged in silly surmises about the " Amazons." 

2 This is a mere phrase for our "dying of laughter": the queen was on her back. 
And as Easterns sit on carpets, their falling back is very different from the same move- 
ment off a chair. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 

His fragrance wafted happy news of footstep coming nigh, o And to him 

like a bird uncaged I flew in straightest line : 
I spread my cheek upon his path, beneath his sandal-shoon, o And lo ! the 

stibium J of their dust healed all my hurt of eyne. 
With one embrace again I bound the banner of our loves, 2 o And loosed 

the knot of my delight that bound in bonds malign : 
Then bade I make high festival, and straight came flocking in o Pure joys 

that know not grizzled age 3 nor aught of pain and pine : 
The full moon dotted with the stars the lips and pearly teeth o That dance 

right joyously upon the bubbling face of wine : 
So in the prayer-niche of their joys I yielded me to what o Would make 

the humblest penitent of sinner most indign. 

I swear by all the signs* of those glories in his face o I'll ne'er for- 
get the Chapter entituled Al-Ikhlas. 5 

Then Queen Budur told Kamar al-Zaman all that had befallen 
her from beginning to end and he did likewise ; after which he 
began to upbraid her, saying, " What moved thee to deal with me 
as thou hast done this night ? " She replied, " Pardon me ! for I 
did this by way of jest, and that pleasure and gladness might be 
increased." And when dawned the morn and day arose with its 
sheen and shone, she sent to King Armanus, sire of the Lady 
Hayat al-Nufus, and acquainted him with the truth of the case 
and that she was wife to Kamar al-Zaman. Moreover, she told 
him their tale and the cause of their separation, and how his 
daughter was a virgin, pure as when she was born. He marvelled 
at their story with exceeding marvel and bade them chronicle it 
in letters of gold. Then he turned to Kamar al-Zaman and said, 
" O King's son, art thou minded to become my son-in-law by 
marrying my daughter ? " Replied he, " I must consult the 

1 Arab. " Ismid," the eye-powder before noticed: 

2 When the Caliph (e.g. Al-Ta'i li'llah) bound a banner to a spear and handed it to. 
an officer, he thereby appointed him Sultan or Viceregent. 

3 Arab. " Shaib al-inghaz " = lit. a gray beard who shakes head in disapproval. 

4 Arab. ' Ayat" = the Hebr. " Ototh," signs, wonders or Koranic verses. 

6 The Chapter " Al-Ikhlas " i.e. clearing (oneself from any faith but that of Unity) is 
No. cxii. and runs thus : 

Say, He is the One God ! 

The sempiternal God, 

He begetteth not, nor is He begot, 

And unto Him the like is not. 

It is held to be equal in value to one 'third of the Koran, and is daily used in prayer* 
Mr. Rod well makes it the tenth. 

308 A If Laylak wa Laylah. 

Queen Budur, as she hath a claim upon me for benefits without 
stint." And when he took counsel with her, she said, " Right is 
thy recking ; marry her and I will be her handmaid ; for I am her 
debtor for kindness and favour and good offices, and obligations 
manifold, especially as we are here in her place and as the King 
her father hath whelmed us with benefits." 1 Now when he saw 
that she inclined to this and was not jealous of Hayat al-Nufus, 
he agreed with her upon this matter - And Shahrazad perceived 
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Nofo fo&en ft foaa tje Sfoo ffitmUtt& anfc g>ebenteent& Nigftt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Kamar 
al-Zaman agreed with his wife, Queen Budur, upon this matter 
and told King Armanus what she had said ; whereat he rejoiced 
with great joy. Then he went out and, seating himself upon his 
chair of estate, assembled all the Wazirs, Emirs, Chamberlains 
and Grandees, to whom he related the whole story of Kamar 
al-Zaman and his wife, Queen Budur, from first to last ; and 
acquainted them with his desire to marry his daughter Hayat 
al-Nufus to the Prince and make him King in the stead of Queen 
Budur. Whereupon said they all, "Since he is the husband of 
Queen Budur, who hath been our King till now, whilst we deemed 
her son-in-law to King Armanus, we are all content to have him 
to Sultan over us ; and we will be his servants, nor will we swerve 
from his allegiance^" So Armanus rejoiced hereat and, summon* 
ing Kazis and witnesses and the chief officers of state, bade draw 
up the contract of marriage between Kamar al-Zaman and his 
daughter, the Princess Hayat al-Nufus. Then he held high 
festival, giving sumptuous marriage-feasts and bestowing costly 
dresses of honour upon all the Emirs and Captains of the host ; 
moreover he distributed alms to the poor and needy and set free 
all the prisoners. The whole world rejoiced in the coming of 
Kamar al-Zaman to the throne, blessing him and wishing him 
endurance of glory and prosperity, renown and felicity ; and, as 

1 The Lady Budur shows her noble blood by not objecting to her friend becoming hen 
Zarrat (sister- wife). This word is popularly derived from " Zarar "= injury ; and is 
yulgarly pronounced in Egypt " Durrah " sounding like Durrah = a parrot (see 
Burckhardt's mistake in Prov. 314). The native proverb says, " Ayshat al-durrah 
cmrrah," the sister-wife hath a bitter life. We have no English equivalent ; so I trans*' 
late indifferently co-wife, co-consort, sister-wife or sister in wedlock. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman* 309 

soon as he became King, he remitted the customs-dues and 
released all men who remained in gaol. Thus he abode a long 
while, ordering himself worthily towards his lieges ; and he lived 
with his two wives in peace, happiness, constancy and content, 
lying the night with each of them in turn. He ceased not after 
this fashion during many years, for indeed all his troubles and 
afflictions were blotted out from him and he forgot his father King 
Shahriman and his former estate of honour and favour with him. 
After a while Almighty Allah blessed him with two boy children, 
as they were two shining moons, through his two wives ; the elder 
whose name was Prince Amjad, 1 by Queen Budur, and the 
younger whose name was Prince As'ad by Queen Hayat al- 
Nufus ; and this one was comelier than his brother. They were 
reared in splendour and tender affection, in respectful bearing 
and in the perfection of training ; and they were instructed in 
penmanship and science and the arts of government and horse- 
manship, till they attained the extreme of accomplishments and 
the utmost limit of beauty and loveliness ; both men and women 
being ravished by their charms. They grew up side by side till 
they reached the age of seventeen, eating and drinking together 
and sleeping in one bed, nor ever parting at any time or tide * 
wherefore all the people envied them. Now when they came to- 
man's estate and were endowed with every perfection, their father 
was wont, as often as he went on a journey, to make them sit in, 
liis stead by turns in the hall of judgement ; and each did justice 
among the folk one day at a time. But it came to pass, by con- 
firmed fate and determined lot, that love for As'ad (son of Queen 
Hayat al-Nufus) rose in the heart of Queen Budur, and that affec- 
tion for Amjad (son of Queen Budur) rose in the heart of Queen 
Hayat al-Nufus. 2 Hence it was that each of the women used to 
sport and play with the son of her sister-wife, kissing him and 
straining him to her bosom, whilst each mother thought that the 
other's behaviour arose but from maternal affection. On this wise 

1 Lane preserves the article "H-Amjad" and "El-As'ad;" which is as necessary 
as to say " the John " or "the James," because neo-Latins have "il Giovanni" or 
*' il Giacomo." In this matter of the article, however, it is impossible to lay down a 
universal rule : in some cases it must be preserved and only practise in the language can 
teach its use. For instance, it is always present in Al-Bahrayn and al-Yaman ; but not 
necessarily so with Irak and Najd. 

2 It is hard to say why this ugly episode was introduced. It is a mere false note in a 
tune pretty enough. 

3* Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

passion got the mastery of the two women's hearts and they be- 
came madly in love with the two youths, so that when the other's 
son came in to either of them, she would press him to her breast 
and long for him never to be parted from her ; till, at last, when 
waiting grew longsome to them and they found no path to enjoy- 
ment, they refused meat and drink and banished the solace of 
sleep. Presently, the King fared forth to course and chase, bid- 
ding his two sons sit to do justice in his stead, each one day in 
turn, as was their wont. - And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of 
day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofan it foas tje foo f^imfcrclr anto lSi$teentl) Ntg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the King 
fared forth to sport and hunt, bidding his two sons sit to do justice 
in his stead, each one day by turn, as was their wont. Now Prince 
Amjad sat in judgement the first day, bidding and forbidding, ap- 
pointing and deposing, giving and refusing ; and Queen Hayat al- 
Nufus, mother of As'ad, wrote to him a letter suing for his favour 
and discovering to him her passion and devotion ; altogether put- 
ting off the mask and giving him to know that she desired to enjoy 
,him. So she took a scroll and thereon indited these cadences : 
From the love deranged * the sorrowful and estranged # whose 
torment is prolonged for the longing of thee ! # Were I to recount 
to thee the extent of my care * and what of sadness I bear * the 
passion which my heart doth tear # and all that I endure for 
weeping and unrest # and the rending of my sorrowful breast * 
my unremitting grief * and my woe without relief # and all my 
suffering for severance of thee * and sadness and love's ardency # 
no letter could contain it ; nor calculation could compass it # 
Indeed earth and heaven upon me are strait ; and I have no hope 
and no trust but what from thee I await * Upon death I am come 
nigh # and the horrors of dissolution I aby * Burning upon me 
is sore * with parting pangs and estrangement galore * Were I 
to set forth the yearnings that possess me more and more # no 
scrolls would suffice to hold such store # and of the excess of my 
pain and pine, I have made the following lines : 

Were I to dwell on heart-consuming heat, * Unease and transport* in my 

spirit meet, 
Nothing were left of ink and reeden pen # Nor aught of paper ; no, not 

e'en a sheet. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 3 1 r 

Then Queen Hayat al-Nufus wrapped up her letter in a piece of 
costly silk scented with musk and ambergris ; and folded it up 
with her silken hair-strings l whose cost swallowed down treasures ; 
laid it in a handkerchief and gave it to a eunuch bidding him bear 
it to Prince Amjad. -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 
and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jiofo fo&en ft foas tie ^foo ^untotEfc anb Hfntteent]) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that she gave her 
missive to the eunuch in waiting and bade him bear it to Prince 
Amjad. And that eunuch went forth ignoring what the future hid 
for him (for the Omniscient ordereth events even as He willeth) ; 
and, going in to the Prince, kissed the ground between his hands 
and handed to him the letter. On receiving the kerchief he opened 
it and, reading the epistle and recognising its gist he was ware that 
his father's wife was essentially an adulteress and a traitress at 
heart to her husband, King Kamar al-Zaman. So he- waxed wroth 
with exceeding wrath and railed at women and their works, say- 
ing, " Allah curse women, the traitresses, the imperfect in reason 
and religion ! " 2 Then he drew his sword and said to the eunuch, 
" Out on thee, thou wicked slave ! Dost thou carry messages of 
disloyalty for thy lord's wife ? By Allah, there is no good in thee, 
O black of hue and heart, O foul of face and Nature's forming ! " 
So he smote him on the neck and severed his head from his body ; 
then, folding the kerchief over its contents he thrust it into his 
breast-pocket and went in to his own mother and told her what 
had passed, reviling and reproaching her, and saying, " Each one 
of you is viler than the other; and, by Allah the Great and 
Glorious, did I not fear ill-manneredly to transgress against the 
rights of my father, Kamar al-Zaman, and my brother, Prince 
As'ad, I would assuredly go in to her and cut off her head, even 
as I cut off that of her eunuch ! " Then he went forth from his 
mother in a mighty rage ; and when the news reached Queen 
Hayat al-Nufus of what he had done with her eunuch, she abused 
him 8 and cursed him and plotted perfidy against him. He passed 
the night, sick with rage, wrath and concern ; nor found he pleasure 
in meat, drink or sleep. And when the next morning dawned 

1 The significance of this action will presently appear. 3 An " Hadfs." 

3 Arab. "Sabb" = using the lowest language of abuse, chiefly concerning women- 
relatives and their reproductive parts. 

3*2 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

Prince As'ad fared forth in his turn to rule the folk in his father's 
stead, whilst his mother, Hayat al-Nufus, awoke in feeble plight 
because of what she had heard from Prince Amjad concerning the 
slaughter of her eunuch. So Prince As'ad sat in the audience- 
chamber that day, judging and administering justice, appointing 
and deposing, bidding and forbidding, giving and bestowing. And 
he ceased not thus till near the time of afternoon -prayer, when 
Queen Budur sent for a crafty old woman and, discovering to her 
what was in her heart, wrote a letter to Prince As'ad, complaining 
of the excess of her affection and desire for him in these cadenced 
lines : " From her who perisheth for passion and love-forlorn * to 
him who in nature and culture is goodliest born * to him who is con- 
ceited of his own loveliness * and glories in his amorous grace * 
who from those that seek to enjoy him averteth his face * and re- 
fuseth to show favour unto the self abasing and base * him who is 
cruel and of disdainful mood * from the lover despairing of good * 
to Prince As'ad * with passing beauty endowed * and of excelling 
grace proud * of the face moon-bright * and the brow flower-white 
* and dazzling splendid light *This is my letter to him whose love 
melteth my body * and rendeth my skin and bones ! * Know that 
my patience faileth me quite * and I am perplexed in my plight * 
longing and restlessness weary me * and sleep and patience deny 
themselves to me * but mourning and watching stick fast to me * 
and desire and passion torment me * and the extremes of languor 
and sickness have shent me * Yet may my life be a ransom for 
thee * albeit thy pleasure be to slay her who loveth thee * and 
Allah prolong the life of thee * and preserve thee from all in- 
firmity ! " And after these cadences she wrote these couplets : 

Fate hath commanded I become thy fere, o O shining like full moon when 

clearest clear ! 
All beauty dost embrace, all eloquence ; o Brighter than aught within our 

worldly sphere : 
Content am I my torturer thou be : * Haply shalt alms me with one 

lovely leer ! 
Happy her death who dieth for thy love ! o No good in her who holdeth thee 

undear ! 

And also the following couplets : 

Unto thee, As'ad ! I of passion-pangs complain ; o Have ruth on slave of 

love so burnt with flaming pain : 
How long, I ask, shall hands of Love disport with me, o With longings, dolour, 

sleepliness and bale and bane ? 

Tale of Kamar al-Zamaut. 313 

Anon I 'plain of sea in heart, anon of fire In vitals, O strange 

case, dear wish, my fainest fain ! 
O blamer, cease thy blame, and seek thyself to fly From Love* which 

makes these eyne a rill of tears to rain. 
How oft I cry for absence and desire, Ah grief! * But all my crying 

naught of gain for me shall gain : 
Thy rigours dealt me sickness passing power to bear, * Thou art my only 

leach, assain me an thou deign ! 
O chider, chide me not in caution, for I doubt * That plaguey Love to 

thee shall also deal a bout. 

Then Queen Budur perfumed the letter-paper with a profusion of 
odoriferous musk and, winding it in her hairstrings which were of 
Iraki silk, with pendants of oblong emeralds, set with pearls and 
stones of price, delivered it to the old woman, bidding her carry 
it to Prince As'ad. 1 She did so in order to pleasure her, and 
going in to the Prince, straightway and without stay, found him 
in his own rooms and delivered to him the letter in privacy ; after 
which she stood waiting an hour or so for the answer. When 
As'ad had read the paper and knew its purport, he wrapped it up 
again in the ribbons and put it in his bosom-pocket : then (for he 
was wroth beyond all measure of wrath) he cursed false women 
and sprang up and drawing his sword, smote the old trot on 
the neck and cut off her pate. Thereupon he went in to his 
mother, Queen Hayat al Nufus, whom he found lying on her bed 
in feeble case, for that which had betided her with Prince Amjad, 
and railed at her and cursed her ; after which he left her and fore- 
gathered with his brother, to whom he related all that had befallen 
him with Queen Budur, adding, " By Allah, O my brother, but 
that I was ashamed before thee, I had gone in to her forthright 
and had smitten her head off her shoulders ! " Replied Prince 
Amjad, "By Allah, O my brother, yesterday when I was sitting 
upon the seat of judgement, the like of what hath befallen thee 
this day befel me also with thy mother who sent me a letter of 
similar purport." And he told him all that had passed, adding, 
" By Allah, O my brother, naught but respect for thee withheld 

1 The reader will note in the narration concerning the two Queens the parallelism of 
the Arab's style which recalls that of the Hebrew poets. Strings of black silk are plaited 
into the long locks (an "idiot-fringe" being worn over the brow) because a woman is 
cursed "who joineth her own hair to the hair of another" (especially human hair). 
Sending the bands is a sign of affectionate submission ; and, in exlremest cases the hair 

itself is sent. 

x , , . - 

Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

me from going in to her and dealing with her even as I dealt with 
the eunuch ! " They passed the rest of the night conversing and 
cursing false womankind, and agreed to keep the matter secret, 
lest their father should hear of it and kill the two women. Yet 
they ceased not to suffer trouble and foresee affliction. And when 
the morrow dawned, the King returned with his suite from hunting 
and sat awhile in his chair of estate ; after which he sent the Emirs 
about their business and went up to his palace, where he found his 
two wives lying a-bed and both exceeding sick and weak. Now 
they had made a plot against their two sons and concerted to do 
away their lives, for that they had exposed themselves before them 
and feared to be at their mercy and dependent upon their forbear- 
ance. When Kamar al-Zaman saw them on this wise, he said to 
them, "What aileth you?" Whereupon they rose to him and 
kissing his hands answered, perverting the case and saying, 
" Know, O King, that thy two sons, who have been reared in 
thy bounty, have played thee false and have dishonoured thee in 
the persons of thy wives." Now when he heard this, the light 
became darkness in his sight, and he raged with such wrath that 
his reason fled : then said he to them, " Explain me this matter." 
Replied Queen Budur, " O King of the age, know that these many 
days past thy son As'ad hath been in the persistent habit of send- 
ing me letters and messages to solicit me to lewdness and adultery 
while I still forbade him from this, but he would not be forbidden ; 
and, when thou wentest forth to hunt, he rushed in on me, drunk 
and with a drawn sword in his hand, and smiting my eunuch, slew 
him. Then he mounted on my breast, still holding the sword, and 
I feared lest he should slay me, if I gainsaid him, even as he had 
slain my eunuch ; so he took his wicked will of me by force. And 
now if thou do me not justice on him, O King, I will slay myself 
with my own hand, for I have no need of life in the world aftej* 
this foul deed" And Queen Hayat al-Nufus, choking with tears, 
told him respecting Prince Amjad a story like that, of her sister- 
wife. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

Nofo tojen it foa* tie foo l^untofc an* 'Stoentfeft 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Queen 
Hayat al-Nufus told her husband, King Kamar al-Zaman, a story 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 31$ 

like that of her sister in wedlock, Budur, and, quoth she, " The 
same thing befel me with thy son Amjad ;" after which she took to 
weeping and wailing and said, " Except thou do me justice on him 
I will tell my father, King Armanus." Then both women wept 
with sore weeping before King Kamar al-Zaman who, when he 
saw their tears and heard their words, concluded that their story 
was true and, waxing wroth beyond measure of wrath, went forth 
thinking to fall upon his two sons and put them to death. On his 
way he met his father-in-law, King Armanus who, hearing of his 
return, from the chase, had come to salute him at that very hour ; 
and, seeing him with naked brand in hand and blood dripping 
from his nostrils, for excess of rage, asked what ailed him. So 
Kamar al-Zaman told him all that his sons Amjad and As'ad had 
done and added, " And here I am now going in to them to slay 
them in the foulest way and make of them the most shameful of 
examples." Quoth King Armanus (and indeed he too was wroth 
with them), " Thou dost well, O my son, and may Allah not bless 
them nor any sons that do such deed against their father's honour. 
But, O my son, the sayer of the old saw saith : Whoso looketh not 
to the end hath not Fortune to friend. In any case, they are thy 
sons, and it befitteth not that thou kill them with thine own hand, 
lest thou drink of their death-agony, * and anon repent of having 
slain them whenas repentance availeth thee naught. Rather do 
thou send them with one of thy Mamelukes into the desert and 
let him kill them there out of thy sight, for, as saith the adage : 
~-Out of sight of my friend is better and pleasanter. 2 And when 
Kamar al-Zaman heard his father-in-law's words, he knew them to 
be just ; so he sheathed his sword and turning back, sat down upon 
the throne of his realm. There he summoned his treasurer, a very 
old man, versed in affairs and in fortune's vicissitudes, to whom 
he said, " Go in to my sons, Amjad and As'ad ; bind their hands 
behind them with strong bonds, lay them in two chests and load 
them upon a mule. Then take horse thou and carry them into 
mid-desert, where do thou kill them both and fill two vials with 
their blood and bring the same to me in haste;" Replied the 
treasurer, " I hear and I obey," and he rose up hurriedly and went 
out forthright to seek the Princes ; and, on his road, he met them 

1 i.e., suffer similar pain at the spectacle, a phrase often occurring. 
* it., when the eye sees not, the heart grieves not. 

3*6 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

coming out of the palace-vestibule, for they had donned their best 
clothes and their richest ; and they were on their way to salute 
their sire and give him joy of his safe return from his going 
forth to hunt. Now when he saw them, he laid hands on them, 
saying, " O my sons, know ye that I am but a slave commanded, 
and that your father hath laid a commandment on me ; will ye 
obey his commandment ? " They said, " Yes " ; whereupon he 
went up to them and, after pinioning their arms, laid them in the 
chests which he loaded on the back of a mule he had taken from 
the city. And he ceased not carrying them into the open country 
till near noon, when he halted in a waste and desolate place and, 
dismounting from his mare, let down the two chests from the 
mule's back. Then he opened them and took out Amjad and 
As'ad ; and when he looked upon them he wept sore for their 
beauty and loveliness ; then drawing his sword he said to them, 
" By Allah, O my lords, indeed it is hard for me to deal so evilly 
by you ; but I am to be excused in this matter, being but a slave 
commanded, for that your father King Kamar al-Zaman hath 
bidden me strike off your heads." They replied, " O Emir, do the 
King's bidding, for we bear with patience that which Allah (to 
Whom be Honour, Might and Glory !) hath decreed to us ; and 
thou art quit of our blood." Then they embraced and bade each 
other farewell, and As'ad said to the treasurer, " Allah upon thee, 
O uncle, spare me the sight of my brother's death-agony and 
make me not drink of his anguish, but kill me first, for that were 
the easier for me." And Amjad said the like and entreated the 
treasurer to kill him before As'ad, saying, " My brother is younger 
than I ; so make me not taste of his anguish. And they both 
wept bitter tears whilst the treasurer wept for their weeping ; -- 
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her 
permitted say. 

Nofo fofjen ft foag tje 'Stoo ^unteti an* foentg-fim 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the treasurer 
wept for their weeping ; then the two brothers embraced and bade 
farewell and one said to the other, " All this cometh of the malice 
of those traitresses, my mother and thy mother; and this is the 
reward of my forbearance towards thy mother and of thy for- 
bearance towards my mother ! But there is no Might and there 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 317 

is no Majesty save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! Verily, we 
are Allah's and unto Him we are returning." 1 And As'ad em- 
braced his brother, sobbing and repeating these couplets : 

O Thou to whom sad trembling wights in fear complain ! # O ever ready 

whatso cometh to sustain ! 
The sole resource for me is at Thy door to knock ; * At whose door 

knock an Thou to open wilt not deign ? 
O Thou whose grace is treasured in the one word, Be ! 2 Favour me, 1 

beseech, in Thee all weals contain. 

Now when Amjad heard his brother's weeping he wept also 
and pressing him to his bosom repeated these two couplets : 

O Thou whose boons to me are more than one ! # Whose gifts and favours 

have nor count nor bound ! 
No stroke of all Fate's strokes e'er fell on me, But Thee to take me by 

the hand I found. 

Then said Amjad to the treasurer, " I conjure thee by the One, 
Omnipotent, the Lord of Mercy, the Beneficent ! slay me before 
my brother As'ad, so haply shall the fire be quencht in my heart's 
core and in this life burn no more." But As'ad wept and ex- 
claimed, " Not so : I will die first ;" whereupon quoth Amjad, " It 
were best that I embrace thee and thou embrace me, so the sword 
may fall upon us and slay us both at a single stroke." Thereupon 
they embraced, face to face and clung to each other straitly, whilst 
the treasurer tied up the twain and bound them fast with cords, 
weeping the while. Then he drew his blade and said to them, " By 
Allah, O my lords, it is indeed hard to me to slay you ! But have 
ye no last wishes that I may fulfil or charges which I may carry 
out, or message which I may deliver ? " Replied Amjad, " We have 
no wish ; and my only charge to thee is that thou set my brother be- 
low and me above him, that the blow may fall on me first ; and when 
thou hast killed us and returnest to the King and he asketh thee : 
What heardest thou from them before their death ? ; do thou 

1 i.e. , unto Him we shall return, a sentence recurring in almost every longer chapter 
of the Koran. 

* Arab. 4< Kun," the creative Word (which, by the by, proves the Koran to be an 
uncreated Logos) ; the full sentence being " Kun fa kana " = Be ! and it became. The 
origin is evidently, " And God said, Let there be light : and there was light." Gen. i. 
3) ; a line grand in its simplicity and evidently borrowed from the Egyptians ; even at 
Yahveh (Jehovah) from " Ankh" = He who lives (Brugsch Hist. ii. 34). 

3*8 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

answer : Verily thy sons salute thee and say to thee, Thou 
knewest not if we were innocent or guilty, yet hast thou put us to 
death and hast not certified thyself of our sin nor looked into our 
case. Then do thou repeat to him these two couplets : 

Women are Satans made for woe o' men ; * I fly to Allah from their devilish 

scathe : 
Source of whatever bale befel our kind, * In worldly matters and in things 

of Faith." 

Continued Amjad, " We desire of thee naught but that thou repeat 

to our sire these two couplets 1 ' And Shahrazad perceived 

the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

tof)w it foa8 tje foo ?gun&teto anto Cfoentg-seconto iStgftt, 

She said, It hath reached me O auspicious King, that Amjad 
added, speaking to the treasurer, " We desire of thee naught but 
that thou repeat to our sire these two couplets which thou hast just 
now heard ; and I conjure thee by Allah to have patience with us, 
whilst I cite to my brother this other pair of couplets.'* Then he 
wept with sore weeping and began : 

" The Kings who fared before us showed * Of instances full many a show : 
Of great and small and high and low * How many this one road have 
trod ! " 

Now when the treasurer heard these words from Amjad, he wept 
till his beard was wet, whilst As'ad's eyes brimmed with tears and 
he in turn repeated these couplets : 

Fate frights us when the thing is past and gone ; * Weeping is not for form or 

face alone 1 : 
What ails the Nights? 2 Allah blot out our sin, * And be the Nights by other 

hand undone ! 
Ere this Zubayr-son 3 felt their spiteful hate, * Who fled for refuge to tho 

House and Stone : 

1 i.e. but also for the life and the so-called " soul." 

2 Arab. "Laya"li" = lit. nights which, I have said, is often applied to the whole 
twenty-four hours. Here it is used in the sense of " fortune" or " fate ; " like " days "" 
and * c days and nights.'* 

3 Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr a nephew of Ayishah, who had rebuilt the Ka'abah in 
A.H. 64 (A.D. 683), revolted (A.D. 680) against Yezid and was proclaimed Caliph at 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 319 

Would that when Kha'rijah was for Amru slain 1 * They had ransomed Ali with 
all men they own. 

Then, with cheeks stained by tears down railing he recited also 
these verses : 

In sooth the Nights and Days are charactered * By traitor falsehood and as 

knaves they lie ; 
The Desert-reek 2 recalls their teeth that shine ; # All horrid blackness is 

their Kohl of eye : 
My sin anent the world which I abhor # Is sin of sword when 

sworders fighting hie. 

Then his sobs waxed louder and he said : 

O thou who woo st a World 3 unworthy, learn * Tis house of evils, 'tis Per- 
dition's net : 

A house where whoso laughs this day shall weep * The next : then perish 
house of fume and fret ! 

Endless its frays and forays, and its thralls * Are ne'er redeemed, while 
endless risks beset. 

How many gloried in its pomps and pride, * Till proud and pompous did 

all bounds forget, 

Then showing back of shield she made them swill 4 * Full draught, and claimed 
all her vengeance debt. 

For know her strokes fall swift and sure, altho' Long bide she and forslow 
the course of Fate : 

Meccah. He was afterwards killed (A.D. 692) by the famous or infamous Hajjaj 
general of Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, the fifth Ommiade, surnamed " Sweat of a stone " 
(skin-flint) and " Father of Flies," from his foul breath. See my Pilgrimage, etc. iii., 
192 194, where are explained the allusions to the Ka'abahand the holy Black Stone. 

1 These lines are part of an elegy on the downfall of one of the Moslem dynasties in 
Spain, composed in the twelfth century by Ibn Abdun al-Andalusi. The allusion is to 
the famous conspiracy of the Kharijites (the first sectarians in Mohammedanism) to kill 
Ali, Mu'awiyah and Amru (so written but pronounced " Amr ") al-As, in order to abate 
intestine feuds in Al-Islam. Ali was slain with a sword-cut by Ibn Muljam a name ever 
damnable amongst the Persians ; Mu'awiyah escaped with a wound and Kharijah, the 
Chief of Police at Fustat or old Cairo was murdered by mistake for Amru. After this 
the sectarian wars began. 

2 Arab. " Sarab" = (Koran, chapt. xxiv.) the reek of the Desert, before explained. 
Jt is called " Lama," the shine, the loom, in Al- Hariri. The world is compared with 
the mirage, the painted eye and the sword that breaks in the sworder's hand. 

3 Arab. 4 ' Dunya," with the common alliteration " ddniyah " (=: Pers." dun "), in prose 
as well as poetry means the things or fortune of this life opp. to " Akhirah " = future 

4 Arab. " Walgh," a strong expression primarily denoting the lapping of dogs j here 
and elsewhere ' ' to swill, saufen." 

320 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

5>o look thou to thy days lest life go by * Idly, and meet thou more 

than thou hast met ; 
And cut all chains of world-love and desire * And save thy soul and rise 

to secrets higher. 

Now when As'ad made an end of these verses, he strained his 
brother Amjad in his arms, till they twain were one body, and the 
treasurer, drawing his sword, was about to strike them, when 
behold, his steed took fright at the wind of his upraised hand, and 
breaking its tether, fled into the desert. Now the horse had cost 
a thousand gold pieces and on its back was a splendid saddle worth 
much money ; so the treasurer threw down his sword, and ran after 
his beast. -- And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 
saying her permitted say, 


Nofo fo&en ft foaa tje Stoo ^untorefc antr foentg-t&utt ttffgjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when his 
horse ran away, the treasurer ran after it in huge concern, and 
ceased not running to catch the runaway till it entered a thicket. 
He followed it whilst it dashed through the wood, smiting the 
earth with its hoofs till it raised a dust-cloud which towered high 
in air ; and snorting and puffing and neighing and waxing fierce 
and furious. Now there happened to be in this thicket a lion of 
terrible might ; hideous to sight, with eyes sparkling light : his 
look was grim and his aspect struck fright into man's sprite. Pre- 
sently the treasurer turned and saw the lion making towards him ; 
but found no way of escape nor had he his sword with him. So 
he said in himself, " There is no Majesty and there is no Might 
save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! This strait is come upon 
me for no other cause but because of Amjad and As'ad ; and 
indeed this journey Was unblest from the first ! " Meanwhile the 
two Princes were grievously oppressed by the heat and grew sore 
athirst, so that their tongues hung out and they cried for succour, 
but none came to their relief and they said, " Would to Heaven we 
had been slain and were at peace from this pain ! But we know not 
whither the horse hath fled, that the treasurer is gone and hath left 
us thus pinioned. If he would but come back and do us die, it were 
easier to us than this torture to aby." Said As'ad, " O my brother, 
be patient, and the relief of Allah (extolled and exalted be He !) 
shall assuredly come to us ; for the horse started not away save of 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 32 1 

His favour towards us, and naught irketh us but this thirst." Upon 
this he stretched and shook himself and strained right and left, till 
he burst his pinion-bonds ; then he rose and unbound his brother 
and catching up the Emir's sword, said, " By Allah, we will not go 
hence, till we look after him and learn what is become of him." 
Then they took to following on the trail till it led them to the 
thicket and they said to each other, " Of a surety, the horse and 
the treasurer have not passed out of this wood." Quoth As'ad, 
" Stay thou here, whilst I enter the thicket and search it ;" and 
Amjad replied, " I will not let thee go in alone : nor will we enter 
it but together ; so if we escape, we shall escape together and if 
we perish, we shall perish together." Accordingly both entered and 
found that the lion had sprang upon the treasurer, who lay like a 
sparrow in his grip, calling upon Allah for aid and signing with his 
hands to Heaven. Now when Amjad saw this, he took the sword 
and, rushing upon the lion, smote him between the eyes and laid 
him dead on the ground. The Emir sprang up, marvelling at this 
escape and seeing Amjad and As'ad, his master's sons, standing 
there, cast himself at their feet and exclaimed, " By Allah, O my 
lords, it were intolerable wrong in me to do you to death. May 
the man never be who would kill you! Indeed, with my very 

life, I will ransom you " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Koto fofjeij ft foas tfje foo $^untafc anfc SFfoEntg-fourtj) Nt' 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the 
treasurer to Amjad and As'ad, " With my life will I ransom you 
both ! " Then he hastily rose and, at once embracing them, en- 
quired how they had loosed their bonds and come thither ; where- 
upon they told him how the bonds of one of them had fallen loose 
and he had unbound the other, whereto they were helped by the 
purity of their intentions, and how they had tracked his trail till 
they came upon him. So he thanked them for their deed and went 
with them forth of the thicket ; and, when they were in the open 
country, they said to him, "O uncle, do our father's bidding." He 
replied, " Allah forbid that I should draw near to you with hurt ! 
But know ye that I mean to take your clothes and clothe you 
with mine ; then will I fill two vials with the lion's blood and go 
back to the King and tell him I have put you to death. But as 
VOL, in. X 

332 Alf Laylah wa Laylak. 

for you two, fare ye forth into the lands, for Allah's earth is wide ; 
and know, O my lords, that it paineth me to part from you." At 
this, they all fell a-weeping ; then the two youths put off their 
clothes and the treasurer habited them with his own. Moreover he 
made two parcels of their dress and, filling two vials with the lion's 
blood, set the parcels before him on his horse's back. Presently he 
took leave of them and, making his way to the city, ceased not 
faring till he went in to King Kamar al-Zaman and kissed the 
ground between his hands. The King saw him changed in face 
and troubled (which arose from his adventure with the lion) and, 
deeming this came of the slaughter of his two sons, rejoiced and 
said to him, " Hast thou done the work ? " " Yes, O our lord,* 
replied the treasurer and gave him the two parcels of clothes and 
the two vials full of blood. Asked the King, " What didst thou 
observe in them ; and did they give thee any charge ? " Answered 
the treasurer, " I found them patient and resigned to what came 
down upon them and they said to me : Verily, our father is ex- 
cusable ; bear him our salutation and say to him, Thou art quit 
of our killing. But we charge thee repeat to him these couplets : 

Verily women are devils created for us. We seek refuge with God from the 

artifice of the devils. 
They are the source of all the misfortunes that have appeared among mankind 

in the affairs of the world and of religion. 1 

When the King heard these words of the treasurer, he bowed his 
head earthwards, a long while and knew his sons' words to mean 
that they had been wrongfully put to death. Then he bethought 
himself of the perfidy of women and the calamities brought about 
by them ; and he took the two parcels and opened them and fell 

to turning over his sons' clothes and weeping, And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her per- 
mitted say. 

Koto fofjen ft foas tje 3Tfoo f^un&refc an& ^foentg-fiftf) 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when King 
Kamar al-Zaman opened the two bundles and fell to turning over 

* The lines are repeated from Night ccxxi. I give Lane*s version (ii. 162) by way of 
contrast and warning. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 323 

his sons' clothes and weeping, it so came to pass that he found, in 
the pocket of his son As'ad's raiment, a letter in the hand of his 
wife enclosing her hair-strings ; so he opened and read it and un- 
derstanding the contents knew that the Prince had been falsely 
accused and wrongously. Then he searched Amjad's parcel of 
dress and found in his pocket a letter in the handwriting of Queen 
Hayat al-Nufus enclosing also her hair-strings ; so he opened and 
read it and knew that Amjad too had been wronged ; whereupon 
he beat hand upon hand and exclaimed, " There is no Majesty and 
there is no Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! I have 
slain my sons unjustly." And he buffeted his face, crying out, 
r< Alas, my sons ! Alas, my long grief ! " Then he bade them 
build two tombs in one house, which he styled " House of Lamen- 
tations," and had graved thereon his sons* names ; and he threw 
himself on Amjad's tomb, weeping and groaning and lamenting, 
and improvised these couplets : 

O moon for ever set this earth below, * Whose loss bewail the 

stars which stud the sky ! 
O wand, which broken, ne'er with bend and wave # Shall fascinate the ravisht 

gazer's eye ; 
These eyne for jealousy I 'reft of thee, # Nor shall they till next life 

thy sight descry : 
I'm drowned in sea of tears for insomny * Wherefore, indeed in Shi- 

rah-stead * I lie. 

Then he threw himself on As'ad's tomb, groaning and weeping 
and lamenting and versifying with these couplets : 

Indeed I longed to share unweal with thee, * But Allah than my will 
willed otherwise : 

My grief all blackens 'twixt mine eyes and space, # Yet whitens all the black- 
ness from mine eyes : 2 

Of tears they weep these eyne run never dry, * And ulcerous flow in vitals 
never dries : 

Right sore it irks me seeing thee in stead 3 * Where slave with sovran 

for once levelled lies. 

And his weeping and wailing redoubled ; and, after he had ended 

1 " Sahirah " is the place where human souls will be gathered on Doom-day : some 
understand by it the Hell Sa'fr (No. iv. ) intended for the Sabians or the Devils generally. 

2 His eyes are faded like Jacob's which, after weeping for Joseph, " became white 
with mourning " (Koran, chapt. xxi.). It is a stock comparison. 

* The grave. 

324 A If Laylah wa Lay la h. 

his lamentations and his verse, he forsook his friends and intimates, 
and denying himself to his women and his family, cut himself off 
from the world in the House of Lamentations, where he passed his 
time in weeping for his sons. Such was his case ; but as regards 
Amjad and As'ad they fared on into the desert eating of the fruits 
of the earth and drinking of the remnants of the rain for a full 
month, till their travel brought them to a mountain of black flint l 
whose further end was unknown ; and here the road forked, one 
line lying along the midway height and ,the other leading to its 
head. They took the way trending to the top and gave not over 
following it five days, but saw no end to it and were overcome 
with weariness, being unused to walking upon the mountains or 
elsewhere. 2 At last, despairing of coming to the last of the road, 
they retraced their steps and, taking the other, that led over the 

midway heights, And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

'Noto tojjm it toa* tje foo f^untrrelf anfc foentg*sfxt!) Ntgf)t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Princes 
Amjad and As'ad returned from the path leading to the Mountain- 
liead and took that which ran along the midway heights, and 
ivalked through all that day till nightfall, when As'ad, weary with 
much travel, said to Amjad, " O my brother, I can walk no farther^ 
for I am exceeding weak." Replied Amjad, " O my brother, take 
courage ! May be Allah will send us relief." So they walked on 
part of the night, till the darkness closed in upon - them, when 
As'ad became weary beyond measure of weariness and cried out, 
" O my brother, I am worn out and spent with walking," and threw 
himself upon the ground and wept, Amjad took him in his arms 
and walked on with him, bytimes sitting down to rest till break of 
day, when they came to the mountain-top and found there a stream 
of running water and by it a pomegranate-tree and a prayer-niche.* 

1 Arab. "Sawwan" (popularly pronounced Suwan) = "Syenite" from Syrene* 
generally applied to silex, granite or any hard stone. 

2 A proceeding fit only for thieves and paupers: "Alpinism" was then unknown. 
" You come from the mountain" (al-Jabal) means, "You are a clod-hopper*' ; and " I 
will sit upon the mountain " = turn anchorite or magician. (Pilgrimage i. 106). 

3 Corresponding with wayside chapels in Catholic countries. The Moslem form would 
be either a wall with a prayer-niche (Mihrab) fronting Meccah-wards or a small domed, 
room. These little oratories are often found near fountains, streams or tree-clumps 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 325 

They could hardly believe their eyes when they saw it ; but, sitting 
down by that spring, drank of its water and ate of the fruit of that 
granado-tree ; after which they lay on the ground and slept till sun- 
rise, when they washed and bathed in the spring and, eating of the 
pomegranates, slept again till the time of mid-afternoon prayer. 
Then they thought to continue their journey, but As'ad could not 
walk, for both his feet were swollen. So they abode there three 
days till they were rested, after which they set out again and fared 
on over the mountain days and nights, tortured by and like to die 
of thirst, till they sighted a city gleaming afar off, at which they 
rejoiced and made towards it. When they drew near it, they 
thanked Allah (be His Name exalted !) and Amjad said to As'ad. 
" O my brother, sit here, whilst I go to yonder city and see what 
it is and whose it is and where we are in Allah's wide world, that 
we may know through what lands we have passed in crossing this 
mountain, whose skirts had we followed, we had not reached this 
city in a whole year. So praised be Allah for safety ! " Replied 
As'ad, " By Allah, O my brother, none shall go down into that city 
save myself, and may I be thy ransom ! If thou leave me alone, 
be it only for an hour, I shall imagine a thousand things and be 
drowned in a torrent of anxiety on thine account, for I cannot 
brook thine absence from me." Amjad rejoined, " Go then and 
tarry not. So As'ad took some gold pieces, and leaving his brother 
to await him, descended the mountain and ceased not faring on till 
he entered the city. As he threaded the streets he was met by an 
old man age-decrepit, whose beard flowed down upon his breast 
and forked in twain; 1 he bore a walking-staff in his hand and was 
richly clad, with a great red turband on his head. When As'ad 
saw him, he wondered at his dress and his mien ; nevertheless, he 
went up to him and saluting him said, " Where be the way to 
the market, O my master?" Hearing these words the Shaykh 
smiled in his face and replied, " O my son, meseemeth thou art a 

stranger ? " As'ad rejoined, " Yes, I am a stranger." And Shah- 

razad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted 

where travellers would be likely to alight. I have described one in Sind (" Scinde or the 
Unhappy Valley " i. 79) ; and have noted that scrawling on the walls is even more 
common in the East than in the West ; witness the monuments of old Egypt bescribbled 
by the Greeks and Romans. Even the paws of the Sphinx are covered with such 
graffiti; and those of Ipsambul or Abu Si'mbal have proved treasures to epigraphists. 
4 In tales this characterises a Persian ; and Hero Rustam is always so pictured. 

326 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

fojen it foa* tfj* foo f^tmfcrrti anfc ^foentB-sdjentf) Nt$t t 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Shaykh 
who met As'ad smiled in his face and said to him, " O my son, 
meseemeth thou art a stranger ? " and As'ad replied, " Yes, I am a 
stranger." Then rejoined the old man, " Verily, thou gladdenest 
our country with thy presence, O my son, and thou desolatest 
thine own land by reason of thine absence. What wantest thou 
of the market ? " Quoth As'ad, " O uncle, I have a brother, with 
whom I have come from a far land and with whom I have 
journeyed these three months ; and, when we sighted this city, 
I left him, who is my elder brother, upon the mountain and came 
hither, purposing to buy victual and what else, and return there- 
with to him, that we might feed thereon." Said the old man, 
" Rejoice in all good, O my son, and know thou that to-day I 
give a marriage-feast, to which I have bidden many guests, and 
I have made ready plenty of meats, the best and most delicious 
that heart can desire. So if thou wilt come with me to my place, 
I will give thee freely all thou lackest without asking thee a price 
or aught else. Moreover I will teach thee the ways of this city ; 
and, praised be Allah, O my son, that I, and none other have 
happened upon thee/' " As thou wilt," answered As'ad, " do as 
thou art disposed, but make haste, for indeed my brother awaiteth 
me and his whole heart is with me/ The old man took As'ad by 
the hand and carried him to a narrow lane, smiling in his face 
and saying, " Glory be to Him who hath delivered thee from the 
people of this city ! " And he ceased not walking till he entered 
a spacious house, wherein was a saloon and behold, in the middle 
of it were forty old men, well stricken in years, collected together 
and forming a single ring as they sat round about a lighted fire, 
to which they were doing worship and prostrating themselves. 1 
When As'ad saw this, he was confounded and the hair of his 
body stood on end though he knew not what they were ; and the 

1 The Parsis, who are the representatives of the old Guebres, turn towards the sun 
and the fire as their Kiblah or point of prayer ; all deny that they worship it. But, as 
in the case of saints' images, while the educated would pray before them for edification 
(Latria), the ignorant would adore them (Dulia) ; and would make scanty difference 
between the "reverence of a servant" and the "reverence of a slave." The human 
sacrifice was quite contrary to Guebre, although not to Hindu, custom \ although hate 
and vengeance might prompt an occasional murder. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 327 

Shaykh said to them, " O Elders of the Fire, how blessed is this 
day ! " Then he called aloud, saying, " Hallo, Ghazbdn ! " Where- 
upon there came out to him a tall black slave of frightful aspect, 
grim-visaged and flat nosed as an ape who, when the old man 
made a sign to him, bent As'ad's arms behind his back and 
pinioned them ; after which the Shaykh said to him, " Let him 
down into the vault under the earth and there leave him and say 
to my slave-girl Such-an-one: Torture him night and day and 
give him a cake of bread to eat morning and evening against the 
time come of the voyage to the Blue Sea and the Mountain of 
Fire, whereon we will slaughter him as a sacrifice." So the black 
carried him out at another door and, raising a flag in the floor, 
discovered a flight of twenty steps leading to a chamber 1 under 
the earth, into which he descended with him and, laying his feet 
in irons, gave him over to the slave-girl and went away. Mean- 
while, the old men said to one another, " When the day of the 
Festival of the Fire cometh, we will sacrifice him on the mountain, 
as a propitiatory offering whereby we shall pleasure the Fire."- 
Presently the damsel went down to him and beat him a grievous 
beating, till streams of blood flowed from his sides and he fainted ^ 
after which she set at his head a scone of bread and a cruse of 
brackish water and went away and left him. In the middle of the 
night, he revived and found himself bound and beaten and sore 
with beating: so he wept bitter tears; and recalling his former 
condition of honour and prosperity, lordship and dominion, and 

his separation from his sire and his exile from his native land 

And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her 
permitted say. 

jtfofo fofjen it foas tj)t foo ^unfcrrtr an* fo*ntg-Efgi)ti) Nfgfct, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when As'ad 
found himself bound and beaten and sore. with beating he recalled 
his whilome condition of honour and prosperity and dominion 
and lordship, and he wept and groaned aloud and recited these 
couplets : 

1 These tntbfattcs are common in old eastern houses as in the medieval Castles J of 
Europe, and many a stranger has met his death in them. They are often so well con- 
cealed that even the modern inmates are not aware of their existence. 

A If Laylah wa Laylah* 

Stand by the ruined stead and ask of us ; o Nor deem we dwell there as was 
state of us : 

The World, that parter, hath departed us ; o Yet soothes not hate-full hearts 
the fate of us : 

With whips a cursed slave-girl scourges us, o And teems her breast with ran- 
corous hate of us : 

iAllah shall haply deign to unpart our lives, o Chastise our foes, and end this 
strait of us. 

And when As'ad had spoken his poetry, he put out his hand 
towards his head and finding there the crust and the cruse full of 
brackish water he ate a bittock, just enough to keep life in him, and 
drank a little water, but could get no sleep till morning for the 
swarms of bugs 1 and lice. As soon as it was day, the slave-girl 
came down to him and changed his clothes, which were drenched 
with blood and stuck to him, so that his skin came off with the 
shirt ; wherefor he shrieked aloud and cried, " Alas ! " and said, 
" O my God, if this be Thy pleasure, increase it upon me ! O 
Lord, verily Thou art not unmindful of him that oppresseth me ; do 
Thou then avenge me upon him ! " And he groaned and repeated 
the following verses : 

Patient, O Allah ! to Thy destiny o I bow, suffice me what Thou deign 

decree : 
Patient to bear Thy will, O Lord of me, Patient to burn on coals of Ghaza*- 

tree : 
They wrong me, visit me with hurt and harm ; o Haply Thy grace from them 

shall set me free : 
Far be't, O Lord, from thee to spare the wronger o Lord of Destiny my 

hope's in Thee 1 

And what another saith : - 

Bethink thee not of worldly state, o Leave everything to course of Fate ; 

For oft a thing that irketh thee o Shall in content eventuate ; 

And oft what strait is shall expand, o And what expanded is wax strait. 

Allah will do what wills His will, o So be not thou importunate ! 

But 'joy the view of coming weal o Shall make forget past bale and bate. 

And when he had ended his verse, the slave- girl came down upon 
him with blows till he fainted again ; and, throwing him a flap of 
bread and a gugglet of saltish water, went away and left him sad 

1 Arab. " Bakk " ; hence our "bug" whose derivation (like that of "cat" "dog" 
and "hog 1 ') is apparently unknown to the dictionaries, always excepting M. Littre"'s. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 329 

and lonely, bound in chains of iron, with the blood streaming 
from his sides and far from those he loved. So he wept and called 

to mind his brother and the honours he erst enjoyed And 

Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her per- 
mitted say. 

fof)en it foas tf)0 foo pjunfcrcfc anfc 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that As'ad called 
to mind his brother and the honours he erst enjoyed ; so he wept 
and groaned and complained and poured forth tears in floods and 
improvised these couplets : 

Easy, O Fate ! how long this wrong, this injury, < Robbing each morn and 

eve my brotherhood fro' me ? 
Is't not time now thou deem this length sufficiency o Of woes and, O thou 

Heart of Rock, show clemency ? 
My friends thou wrongedst when thou madst each enemy o Mock and exult me 

for thy wrongs, thy tyranny : 
My foeman's heart is solaced by the things he saw o In me, of strangerhood 

and lonely misery : 

Suffice thee not what came upon my head of dole, o Friends lost for ever- 
more, eyes wan and pale of blee ? 
But must in prison cast so narrow there is naught o Save hand to bite, with 

bitten hand for company ; 
And tears that tempest down like goodly gift of cloud, o And longing thirst 

whose fires weet no satiety. 
Regretful yearnings, singulfs and unceasing sighs, o Repine, remembrance 

and pain's very ecstacy : 
Desire I suffer sore and melancholy deep, * And I must bide a prey to endless 

phrenesy : 
I find me ne'er a friend who looks with piteous eye, o And seeks my presence 

to allay my misery : 
Say; liveth any intimate with trusty love o Who for mine ills will 

groan, my sleepless malady ? 
To whom moan I can make and, peradventure, he Shall pity eyes that 

sight of sleep can never see ? 
The flea and bug suck up my blood, as wight that drinks o Wine from the 

proffering hand of fair virginity : 
Amid the lice my body aye remindeth me o Of orphan's good in Kazi's claw 

of villainy : 
My home's a sepulchre that measures cubits three, o Where pass I morn and 

eve hi chained agony : 
My wines are tears, my clank of chains takes music's stead ; o Cares my dessert 

of fruit and sorrows are my bed. 

33 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

And when he had versed his verse and had prosed his prose, he 
again groaned and complained and remembered what he had been 
and how he had been parted from his brother. Thus far con- 
cerning him ; but as regards his brother Amjad, he awaited As'ad 
till mid-day yet he returned not to him : whereupon Amjad's 
vitals fluttered, the pangs of parting were sore upon him and he 

poured forth abundant tears, And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fojm ft foas tfte 'STfoo f^tmtofc an& f)irtietf) Nigfjt, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Amjad awaited his brother As'ad till mid-day and he returned not 
to him, Amjad's vitals fluttered ; the pangs of parting were sore 
upon him and he poured forth abundant tears, exclaiming, " Alas, 
my brother! Alas, my friend! Alas my grief! How I feared 
me we should be separated !" Then he descended from the 
mountain-top with the tears running down his cheeks ; and, 
entering the city, ceased not walking till he made the market. 
He asked the folk the name of the place and concerning its 
people and they said, "This is called the City of the Magians, 
and its citizens are mostly given to Fire-worshipping in lieu 
of the Omnipotent King." Then he enquired of the City of 
Ebony and they answered, " Of a truth it is a year's journey 
thither by land and six months by sea : it was governed erst by 
a King called Armanus ; but he took to son-in-law and made 
King in his stead a Prince called Kamar al-Zaman distinguished 
for justice and munificence, equity and benevolence." When 
Amjad heard tell of his father, he groaned and wept and lamented 
and knew not whither to go. However, he bought a something of 
food and carried it to a retired spot where he sat down thinking 
to eat ; but, recalling his brother, he fell a-weeping and swallowed 
but a morsel to keep breath and body together, and that against 
his will. Then he rose and walked about the city, seeking news 
of his brother, till he saw a Moslem tailor sitting in his shop ; 
so he sat down by him and told him his story ; whereupon 
quoth the tailor, " If he have fallen into the hands of the 
Magians, thou shalt hardly see him again : yet it may be Allah 
will reunite you twain. But thou, O my brother," he continued, 
"wilt thou lodge with me?" Amjad answered, " Yes "; and the 
tailor rejoiced at this. So he abode with him many days, what 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 331 

\vhile the tailor comforted him and exhorted him to patience and 
taught him tailoring, till he became expert in the craft. Now one 
day he went forth to the sea-shore and washed his clothes ; after 
which he entered the bath and put on clean raiment ; then he 
\valked about the city, to divert himself with its sights and 
presently there met him on the way a woman of passing beauty 
and loveliness, without peer for grace- and comeliness. When she 
saw him she raised her face-veil and signed to him by moving her 
eyebrows and her eyes with luring glances, and versified these 
couplets : 

I drooped my glance when seen thee on the way o As though, O slim-waist ! 
felled by Sol's hot ray : 

Thou art the fairest fair that e'er appeared, o Fairer to-day than fair of 
yesterday : l 

Were Beauty parted, a fifth part of it o With Joseph or a part of 

fifth would stay ; 

The rest would fly to thee, thine ownest own ; o- Be every soul thy sacri- 
fice, I pray ! 

When Amjad heard these her words, they gladdened his heart 
which inclined to her and his bowels yearned towards her and 
the hands of love sported with him ; so he sighed to her in reply 
and spoke these couplets : 

Above the rose of cheek is thorn of lance ; 2 o Who dareth pluck it, 

rashest chevisance ? 
Stretch not thy hand towards it, for night long o Those lances marred 

because we snatched a glance ! 
Say her, who tyrant is and tempter too P (Though justice might her 

tempting power enhance) : 
Thy face would add to errors were it veiled ; o Unveiled I see its guard 

hath best of chance ! 
Eye cannot look upon Sol's naked face ; o But can, when mist-cloud 

dims his countenance : 
The honey-hive is held by honey-bee ; 3 o Ask the tribe-guards what 

wants their vigilance ? 
An they would slay me, let them end their ire o Rancorous, and grant us 

freely to advance : 
They're not more murderous, an charge the whole o Than charging glance of 

her who wears the mole. 

1 i.e. thy beauty is ever increasing. 

8 Alluding, as usual, to the eye-lashes, e.g. 

An eyelash arrow from an eyebrow bow. 

Lane (ii. 168) reads : " The niggardly female is protected by her niggardness j" a 
change of " Nahllah " (bee-hive) into " Bakhilah" (she skin-flint). 

33 2 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

And hearing these lines from Amjad she sighed with the deepest 
sighs and, signing to him again, repeated these couplets : 

Tis thou hast trodden coyness-path not I : Grant me thy favours for the 

time draws nigh : 
O thou who makest morn with light of brow, o And with loosed brow-locks 

night in lift to stye ! 
Thine idol-aspect made of me thy slave, o Tempting as temptedst me in, 

days gone by : 
Tis just my liver fry with hottest love : o Who worship fire for God 

must fire aby : 
Thou sellest like of me for worthless price ; o If thou must sell, ask high 

of those who buy. 

When Amjad heard these her words he said to her, "Wilt thou 
come to my lodging or shall I go with thee to thine ? " So she 
hung her head in shame to the ground and repeated the words of 
Him whose Name be exalted, " Men shall have the pre-eminence 
above women, because of those advantages wherein Allah hath 
caused the one of them to excel the other." 1 Upon this, Amjad 

took the hint And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

Jiofo fo&en ft foas tfje foo f^imfcrrtr anti ^{tig-first 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Amjad took 
the woman's hint and understood that she wished to go with him 
whither he was going ; he felt himself bounden to find a placer 
wherein to receive her, but was ashamed to carry her to the house 
of his host, the tailor. So he walked on and she walked after him, 
and the two ceased not walking from street to street and place to 
place, till she was tired and said to him, " O my lord, where is thy 
house ? " Answered he, " Before us a little way." Then he turned 
aside into a handsome by-street, followed by the young woman, 
and walked on till he came to the end, when he found it was no 
thoroughfare and exclaimed, " There is no Majesty and there is no 
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " Then raising his 
eyes, he saw, at the upper end of the lane a great door with two 
stone benches ; but it was locked. So Amjad sat down on one of 

1 Koran iv. 38* The advantages are bodily strength, understanding and the high 
privilege of Holy War. Thus far, and thus far only, woman amongst Moslems is 
"lesser man," 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 333 

the benches and she on the other ; and she said to him, " O my 
lord, wherefore waitest thou ? " He bowed his head awhile to the 
ground then raised it and answered, " I am awaiting my Mameluke 
who hath the key ; for I bade him make me ready meat and drink 
and flowers, to deck the wine-service against my return from the 
bath." But he said to himself, " Haply the time will be tedious 
to her and she will go about her business, leaving me here, when 
I will wend my own way." However, as soon as she was weary 
of long waiting, she said, " O my lord, thy Mameluke delayeth ; 
and here are we sitting in the street ;" and she arose and took a 
stone and went up to the lock. Said Amjad, " Be not in haste, 
but have patience till the servant come." However, she hearkened 
not to him, but smote the wooden bolt with the stone and broke 
it in half, whereupon the door opened. Quoth he, "What pos- 
sessed thee to do this deed ? " Quoth she, " Pooh, pooh, my lord ! 
what matter it ? Is not the house thy house and thy place ? " He 
said, " There was no need to break the bolt." Then the damsel 
entered, to the confusion of Amjad, who knew not what to do for 
fear of the people of the house ; but she said to him, " Why dost 
thou not enter, O light of mine eyes and core of my heart ? " 
Replied he, " I hear and obey ; but my servant tarrieth long and 
I know not if he have done aught of what I bade him and 
specially enjoined upon him, or not." Hereupon he entered, sore 
in fear of the people of the house, and found himself in a hand- 
some saloon with four dai's'd recesses, each facing other, and con- 
taining closets and raised seats, all bespread with stuffs of silk 
and brocade ; and in the midst was a jetting fountain of costly 
fashion, on whose margin rested a covered tray of meats, with 
a leather tablecloth hanging up and gem-encrusted dishes, full of 
fruits and sweet-scented flowers. Hard by stood drinking vessels 
and a candlestick with a single wax-candle therein ; and the 
place was full of precious stuffs and was ranged with chests and 
stools, and on each seat lay a parcel of clothes upon which was a 
purse full of monies, gold and silver. The floor was paved with 
marble and the house bore witness in every part to its owner's 
fortune. When Amjad saw all this, he was confounded at his case 
and said to himself, "I am a lost man ! Verily we are Allah's 
and to Allah we are returning ! " As for the damsel, when she 
sighted the place she rejoiced indeed with a joy nothing could 
exceed, and said to him, " By Allah, O my lord, thy servant hath 
not failed of his duty ; for see, he hath swept the place and 
cooked the meat and set on the fruit ; and indeed I come at the 

334 Alf Laylak wa Laylah. 

best of times." But he paid no heed to her, his heart being taken 
up with fear of the house-folk ; and she said, " Fie, O my lord, O 
my heart ! What aileth thee to stand thus ? " Then she sighed ; 
and, giving him a buss which sounded like the cracking of a 
walnut, said, " O my lord, an thou have made an appointment 
with other than with me, I will gird my middle and serve her and 
thee." Amjad laughed from a heart full of rage and wrath and 
came forwards and sat down, panting and saying to himself, 
"Alack, mine ill death and doom when the owner of the place 
shall return ! " Then she seated herself by him and fell to 
toying and laughing, whilst Amjad sat careful and frowning, 
thinking a thousand thoughts and communing with himself, 
"Assuredly the master of the house cannot but come, and then 
what shall I say to him ? he needs must kill me and my life will 
be lost thus foolishly." Presently she rose and, tucking up her 
sleeves, took a tray of food on which she laid the cloth and then 
set it before Amjad and began to eat, saying, "Eat, O my lord." 
So he came forward and ate ; but the food was not pleasant to 
him ; on the contrary he ceased not to look towards the door, till 
the damsel had eaten her fill, when she took away the tray of the 
meats and, setting on the dessert, fell to eating of the dried fruits. 
Then she brought the wine-service and opening the jar, filled a cup 
and handed it to Amjad, who took it from her hand saying to himself, 
" Ah, ah ! and well-away, when the master of the house cometh 
and seeth me ! " ; and he kept his eyes fixed on the threshold, 
even with cup in hand. While he was in this case, lo ! in came 
the master of the house, who was a white slave, one of the chief 
men of the city, being Master of the Horse 1 to the King. He had 
fitted up this saloon for his pleasures, that he might make merry 
therein and be private with whom he would, and he had that day 
bidden a youth whom he loved and had made this entertainment 
for him. Now the name of this slave was Bahddur, 2 and he was 
open of hand, generous, munificent and fain of alms-giving and 

charitable works. And Shahzarad perceived the dawn of day 

and ceased to say her permitted say. 

1 Arab. " Amir Yakhur," a corruption of ' Akhor " = stable (Persian). 

2 A servile name in Persian, meaning " the brave," and a title of honour at the Court 
of Delhi when following the name. Many English officers have made themselves 
ridiculous (myself amongst the number) by having it engraved on their seal-rings, e.g. 
Brown Sahib Bahadur. To write the word "Behadir" or " Bahadir " is to adopt 
the wretched Turkish corruption. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 335 

Nofo fo&en ft foas tjje foo f^untorefc anfc Jttt!Hwon& Ntg&t, 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when 
Bahadur, the Master of the Horse and the owner of the house, 
came to the door of the saloon and found it open, he entered 
slowly and softly and looking in, with head advanced and out- 
stretched neck, saw Amjad and the girl sitting before the dish of 
fruit and the wine-jar in front of them. Now Amjad at that 
moment had the cup in his hand and his face turned to the door ; 
and when his glance met Bahadur's eyes his hue turned pale yellow 
and his side-muscles quivered, so seeing his trouble Bahadur signed 
to him with his finger on his lips, as much as to say, " Be silent 
and come hither to me." Whereupon he set down the cup and 
rose and the damsel cried, " Whither away ? " He shook his head 
and, signing to her that he wished to make water, went out into 
the passage barefoot. Now when he saw Bahadur he knew him 
for the master of the house ; so he hastened to him and, kissing 
his hands, said to him, " Allah upon thee, O my lord, ere thou do 
me a hurt, hear what I have to say." Then he told him who he 
was from first to last and acquainted him with what caused him to 
quit his native land and royal state, and how he had not entered 
his house of his free will, but that it was the girl who had broken 
the lock-bolt and done all this. 1 When Bahadur heard his story 
and knew that he was a King's son, he felt for him and, taking 
compassion on him, said, " Hearken to me, O Amjad, and do what 
I bid thee and I will guarantee thy safety from that thou fearest ; 
but, if thou cross me, I will kill thee." Amjad replied, " Command 
me as thou wilt : I will not gainsay thee in aught ; no, never, for 
I am the freedman of thy bounty." Rejoined Bahadur, " Then go 
back forthwith into the saloon, sit down in thy place and be at 
peace and at thine ease ; I will presently come in to thee, and 
when thou seest me (remember my name is Bahadur) do thou 
revile me and rail at me, saying : What made thee tarry till so 
late ? And accept no excuse from me ; nay, so far from it, rise 
and beat me; and, if thou spare me, I will do away thy life. 
Enter now and make merry and whatsoever thou seekest of me at 

L "Jerry Sneak " would be the English reader's comment ; but in the East all charges 
are laid upon women. 

336 A If Laylah wa Laylak. 

this time I will bring thee forthwith; and do thou spend this 
night as thou wilt and on the morrow wend thy way. This I do 
in honour of thy strangerhood, for I love the stranger and hold 
myself bounden to do him devoir." So Amjad kissed his hand, 
and, returning to the saloon with his face clad in its natural white 
and red, at once said to the damsel, " O my mistress, thy presence 
hath gladdened this thine own place and ours is indeed a blessed 
night." Quoth the girl, " Verily I see a wonderful change in thee, 
that thou now welcomest me so cordially ! " So Amjad answered, 
" By Allah, O my lady, methought my servant Bahadur had robbed 
me of some necklaces of jewels, worth ten thousand dinars each ; 
however, when I went out but now in concern for this, I sought for 
them and found them in their place. I know not why the slave 
tarrieth so long and needs must I punish him for it." She was 
satisfied with his answer, and they sported and drank and made 
merry and ceased not to be so till near sundown, when Bahadur 
came in to them, having changed his clothes and girt his middle 
and put on shoes, such as are worn of Mamelukes. He saluted 
and kissed the ground ; then held his hands behind him and stood, 
with his head hanging down, as one who confesseth to a fault. So 
Amjad looked at him with angry eyes and asked, "Why hast thou 
tarried till now, O most pestilent of slaves ? " Answered Bahadur, 
" O my lord, I was busy washing my clothes and knew not of thy 
being here ; for our appointed time was nightfall and not day- 
tide." But Amjad cried out at him, saying, " Thou liest, O vilest 
of slaves ! By Allah, I must needs beat thee." So he rose and, 
throwing Bahadur prone on the ground, took a stick and beat him 
gently ; but the damsel sprang up and, snatching the stick from 
his hand, came down upon Bahadur so lustily, that in extreme 
pain the tears ran from his eyes and he ground his teeth together 
and called out for succour ; whilst Amjad cried out to the girl 
" Don't "; and she cried out, " Let me satisfy my anger upon 
him ! " till at last he pulled the stick out of her hand and 
pushed her away. So Bahadur rose and, wiping away his tears 
from his cheeks, waited upon them the while ; after which he 
swept the hall and lighted the lamps ; but as often as he went 
in and out, the lady abused him and cursed him till Amjad was 
wroth with her and said, " For Almighty Allah's sake leave my 
Mameluke ; he is not used to this." Then they sat and ceased 
not eating and drinking (and Bahadur waiting upon them) till 
midnight when, being weary with service and beating, he fell 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 337 

asleep in the midst of the hall and snored and snorted ; where- 
upon the damsel, who was drunken with wine, said to Amjad, 
" Arise, take the sword hanging yonder and cut me off this slave's 
head; and, if thou do it not, I will be the death of thee!" "What 
possesseth thee to slay my slave ? " asked Amjad ; and she an- 
swered, " Our joyaunce will not be complete but by his death. If 
thou wilt not kill him, I will do it myself." Quoth Amjad, " By 
Allah's rights to thee, do not this thing ! " Quoth she, " It must 
perforce be;" and, taking down the sword, drew it and made at 
Badahur to kill him ; but Amjad said in his mind, " This man hath 
entreated us courteously and sheltered us and done us kindness and 
made himself my slave: shall we requite him by slaughtering him? 
This shall never be ! " Then he said to the woman," If my Mameluke 
must be killed, better I should kill him than thou." So saying, he 
took the sword from her and, raising his hand, smote her on the 
neck and made her head fly from her body. It fell upon Bahadur 
who awoke and sat up and opened his eyes, when he saw Amjad 
standing by him and in his hand the sword dyed with blood, and 
the damsel lying dead. He enquired what had passed, and Amjad 
told him all she had said, adding, " Nothing would satisfy her but 
she must slay thee ; and this is her reward." Then Bahadur rose 
and, kissing the Prince's hand, said to him, "Would to Heaven 
thou hadst spared her ! but now there is nothing for it but to rid 
us of her without stay or delay, before the day break." Then he 
girded his loins and took the body, wrapped it in an Aba-cloak 
and, laying it in a large basket of palm-leaves, he shouldered it 
saying, "Thou art a stranger here and knowest no one: so sit thou 
in this place and await my return till daybreak. If I come back 
to thee, I will assuredly do thee great good service and use my 
endeavours to have news of thy brother ; but if by sunrise I return 
not, know that all is over with me ; and peace be on thee, and the 
house and all it containeth of stuffs and money are thine." Then 
he fared forth from the saloon bearing the basket ; and, threading 
the streets, he made for the salt sea, thinking to throw it therein : 
but as he drew near the shore, he turned and saw that the Chief of 
Police and his officers had ranged themselves around him; and, on 
recognising him, they wondered and opened the basket, wherein 
they found the slain woman. So they seized him and laid him in 
bilboes all that night till the morning, when they carried him and 
the basket, as it was, to the King and reported the case. The 
Kkig was sore enraged when he looked upon the slain and said to 

Alf Laylah wa Layldk. 

Bahadur, "Woe to thee ! Thou art always so doing; thou killest 
folk and castest them into the sea and takest their goods. How 
many murders hast thou done ere this ? " Thereupon Bahadur 

hung his head And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and 

ceased saying her permitted say. 

fojjm ft foas tje too ^untyefc anfc 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Bahadur 
hung down his head groundwards before the King, who cried out 
at him, saying, " Woe to thee ! Who killed this girl ? " He replied, 
" O my lord ! I killed her, and there is no Majesty and there is no 
Might save in Allah, the Glorious, the Great ! " 1 So the King in 
his anger, commanded to hang him ; and the hangman went down 
with him by the King's commandment, and the Chief of Police 
accompanied him with a crier who called upon all the folk to wit-* 
ness the execution of Bahadur, the King's Master of the Horse ; 
and on this wise they paraded him through the main streets and 
the market-streets. This is how it fared with Bahadur ; but as 
regards Amjad, he awaited his host's return till the day broke and 
the sun rose, and when he saw that he came not, he exclaimed, 
"There is no Majesty and there is no Might save in Allah, the 
Glorious, the Great ! Would I knew what is become of him ? " 
And, as he sat musing behold, he heard the crier proclaiming 
Bahadur's sentence and bidding the people to see the spectacle of 
his hanging at midday ; whereat he wept and exclaimed, u Verily, 
we are Allah's and to Him we are returning! He meaneth to 
sacrifice himself unjustly for my sake, when I it was who slew her. 
By Allah, this shall never be ! " Then he went from the saloon 
and, shutting the door after him, hurriedly threaded the streets till 
he overtook Bahadur, when he stood before the Chief of Police 
and said to him, " O my lord, put not Bahadur to death, for he is 
innocent. By Allah, none killed her but I." Now when the 
Captain of Police heard these words, he took them both and, 
carrying them before the King, acquainted him with what Amjad 
had said ; whereupon he looked at the Prince and asked him, 
" Didst thou kill the damsel ? " He answered, " Yes " and the 
King said, " Tell me why thou killedst her, and speak the truth." 

1 Here the formula means *' I am sorry for it, but I couldn't help it." 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 339 

Replied Amjad, " O King, it is indeed a marvellous event and a 
wondrous matter that hath befallen me: were it graven with 
needles on the eye-corners, it would serve as a warner to whoso 
would be warned ! " Then he told him his whole story and 
informed him of all that had befallen him and his brother, first and 
last ; whereat the King was much startled and surprised and said 
to him, " Know that now I find thee to be excusable ; but list, O 
youth ! Wilt thou be my Wazfr ? " " Hearkening and obedience," 
answered Amjad ; whereupon the King bestowed magnificent 
dresses of honour on him and Bahadur and gave him a handsome 
house, with eunuchs and officers and all things needful, appointing 
him stipends and allowances and bidding him make search for his 
brother As'ad. So Amjad sat down in the seat of the Wazirate 
and governed and did justice and invested and deposed and took 
and gave. Moreover, he sent out a crier to cry his brother 
throughout the city, and for many days made proclamation in the 
main streets and market-streets, but heard no news of As'ad nor 
happened on any trace of him. Such was his case ; but as regards 
his brother, the Magi ceased not to torture As'ad night and day 
and eve and morn for a whole year's space, till their festival drew 
near, when the old man Bahram 1 made ready for the voyage and 

fitted out a ship for himself. And Shahrazad perceived the 

dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say. 

Nofo fojjen it foas t&e :foo f^unto* an* :f)irtp=jpoutt6 Ni 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Bahram, the 
Magian, having fitted out a ship for the voyage, took As'ad and 
put him in a chest which he locked and had it transported on 
board, Now it so came to pass that, at the very time of shipping 
it, Amjad was standing to divert himself by looking upon the sea ; 
and when he saw the men carrying the gear and shipping it, his 
heart throbbed and he called to his pages to bring him his beast. 
Then, mounting with a company of his officers, he rode down to 
the sea-side and halted before the Magian's ship, which he com- 
manded his men to board and search. They did his bidding, and 
boarded the vessel and rummaged in every part, but found no- 

1 A noble name of the Persian Kings (meaning the planet Mars) corrupted in Europe 
to Varanes. 

34 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

thing ; so they returned and told Amjad, who mounted again and 
rode back. But he felt troubled in mind ; and when he reached 
his place and entered his palace, he cast his eyes on the wall and 
saw written thereon two lines which were these couplets : 

My friends ! if ye are banisht from mine eyes, o From heart and mind ye 

ne'er go wandering : 
But ye have left me in my woe, and rob Rest from my eyelids while 

ye are slumbering." 

And seeing them Amjad thought of his brother and wept. Such 
was his case ; but as for Bahram, the Magian, he embarked and 
shouted and bawled to his crew to make sail in all haste. So they 
shook out the sails and departed and ceased not to fare on many 
days and nights ; and, every other day, Bahram took out As'ad 
and gave him a bit of bread and made him drink a sup of water, 
till they drew near the Mountain of Fire. Then there came out 
on them a storm-wind and the sea rose against them, so that the 
ship was driven out of her course till she took a wrong line and 
fell into strange waters ; and, at last they came in sight of a city 
builded upon the shore, with a castle whose windows overlooked 
the main. Now the ruler of this city was a Queen called 
Marjanah, and the captain said to Bahram, " O my lord, we have 
strayed from our course and come to the island of Queen 
Marjanah, who is a devout Moslemah ; and, if she know that we 
are Magians, she will take our ship and slay us to the last man. 
Yet needs must we put in here to rest and refit." Quoth Bahram, 
" Right is thy recking, and whatso thou seest fit that will I do ! " 
Said the ship-master, " If the Queen summon us and question us, 
how shall we answer her? "; and Bahram replied, " Let us clothe 
this Moslem we have with us in a Mameluke's habit and carry him 
ashore with us, so that when the Queen sees him, she will suppose 
and say, This is a slave. As for me I will tell her that I am a 
slave-dealer 1 who buys and sells white slaves, and that I had with 
me many but have sold all save this one, whom I retained to keep 

1 Arab. "Jallab," one of the three muharramat or forbiddens ; the Harik al-hajar 
(burner of stone), the Kati' al-shajar (cutter of trees, without reference to Hawarden 
N. B.) and the Bdyi' al-bashar (seller of men, vulg. Jallab). The two former worked, 
like the Italian Carbonari, in desert places where they had especial opportunities for 
crime. (Pilgrimage iii. 140). None of these things must be practised during Pilgrimage 
on the holy soil of Al-Hijaz not including Jeddah. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman* 341 

my accounts, for he can read and write." And the captain said, 
" This device should serve." Presently they reached the city and 
slackened sail and cast the anchors ; and the ship lay still, when 
behold, Queen Marjanah came down to them, attended by her 
guards and, halting before the vessel, called out to the captain, 
who landed and kissed the ground before her. Quoth she, " What 
is the lading of this thy ship and whom hast thou with thee ? " 
Quoth he, " O Queen of the Age, I have with me a merchant who 
dealeth in slaves." And she said, " Hither with him to me"; 
whereupon Bahram came ashore to her, with As'ad walking be- 
hind him in a slave's habit, and kissed the earth before her. She 
asked, " What is thy condition ? " ; and he answered, " I am a 
dealer in chattels." Then she looked at As'ad and, taking him 
for a Mameluke, asked him, " What is thy name, O youth ? " 
He answered, " Dost thou ask my present or my former name ? " 
" Hast thou then two names ? " enquired she, and he replied (and 
indeed his voice was choked with tears), " Yes ; my name afore- 
time was Al-As'ad, the most happy, but now it is Al-Mu'tarr 
Miserrimus." Her heart inclined to him and she said, " Canst thou 
write ? " " Yes," answered he, and she gave him ink-case and reed- 
pen and paper and said to him, " Write somewhat that I may see- 
it." So he wrote these two couplets : 

What can the slave do when pursued by Fate, o O justest Judge f 

whatever be his state ? ! 
Whom God throws hand-bound in the depths and says, o Beware lest water 

should thy body wet ? 2 

Now when she read these lines, she had ruth upon him and said to 

1 The verses contain the tenets of the Murjiy sect which attaches infinite importance 
to faith and little or none to works. Sale (sect, viii.) derives his "Morgians" from the 
"Jabrians" (Jabari), who are the direct opponents of the " Kadarians" (Kadari), 
denying free will and free agency to man and ascribing his actions wholly to Allah. 
Lane (ii. 243) gives the orthodox answer to the heretical question : 

Water could wet him not if God please guard His own ; * NOT need man care 

though bound of hands in sea he's thrown : 
But if His Lord decree that he in sea be drowned; He'll drown albeit in 

the wild and wold he wone. 

It is the old quarrel between Predestination and Freewill which cannot be solved except 
by assuming a Law without a Lawgiver. 
8 Our proverb says : Give a man luck and. throw him into the &fia* 

34 2 Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

Bahram, " Sell me this slave." He replied, " O my lady, I cannot 
sell him, for I have parted with all the rest and none is left with 
me but he." Quoth the Queen, " I must need have him of thee, 
either by sale or way of gift." But quoth Bahram, " I will neither 
sell him nor give him." Whereat she was wroth and, taking As'ad 
by the hand, carried him up to the castle and sent to Bahram, 
saying, " Except thou set sail and depart our city this very night, 
I will seize all thy goods and break up thy ship." Now when the 
message reached the Magian, he grieved with sore grief and cried, 
" Verily this voyage is on no wise to be commended." Then he 
arose and made ready and took all he needed and awaited the 
coming of the night to resume his voyage, saying to the sailors, 
" Provide yourselves with your things and fill your water-skins, 
that we may set sail at the last of the night." So the sailors did 
their business and awaited the coming of darkness. Such was 
their case ; but as regards Queen Marjanah, when she had brought 
As'ad into the castle, she opened the casements overlooking the 
sea and bade her handmaids bring food. They set food before 
As'ad and herself and both ate, after which the Queen called for 

wine And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased 

saying her permitted say. 

Koto tofjen it foas tfie too p}unDretr antr 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when Queen 
Marjanah bade her handmaids bring wine and they set it before 
her, she fell to drinking with As'ad. Now, Allah (be He extolled 
and exalted !) filled her heart with love for the Prince and she 
kept filling his cup and handing it to him till his reason fled ; and 
presently he rose and left the hall to satisfy a call of nature. As 
he passed out of the saloon he saw an open door through which 
he went and walked on till his walk brought him to a vast garden 
full of all manner fruits and flowers ; and, sitting down under a 
tree, he did his occasion. Then he rose and went up to a jetting 
fountain in the garden and made the lesser ablution and washed 
his hands and face, after which he would have risen to go away ; 
but the air smote him and he fell back, with his clothes undone 
and slept, and night overcame him thus. So far concerning him ; 
but as concerns Bahrain, the night being come, he cried out to his 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 343 

crew, saying, " Set sail and let us away ! " ; and they answered, 
" We hear and obey, but wait till we fill our water-skins and then 
we will set sail." So they landed with their water-skins and went 
round about the castle, and found nothing but garden-walls : 
whereupon they climbed over into the garden and followed the 
track of feet, which led them to the fountain ; and there they 
found As'ad lying on his back. They knew him and were glad to 
find him ; and, after filling their water-skins, they bore him off and 
climbed the wall again with him and carried him back in haste 
to Bahram to whom they said, " Hear the good tidings of thy 
winning thy wish ; and gladden thy heart and beat thy drums 
and sound thy pipes ; for thy prisoner, whom Queen Marjanah 
took from thee by force, we have found and brought back to 
thee " ; and they threw As'ad down before him. When Bahram 
saw him, his heart leapt for joy and his breast swelled with glad, 
ness. Then he bestowed largesse on the sailors and bade them set 
sail in haste. So they sailed forthright, intending to make the 
Mountain of Fire and stayed not their course till the morning. 
This is how it fared with them ; but as regards Queen Marjanah, 
she abode awhile, after As'ad went down from her, awaiting his 
return in vain for he came not ; thereupon she rose and sought 
him, yet found no trace of him. Then she bade her women light 
flambeaux and look for him, whilst she went forth in person 
and, seeing the garden-door open, knew that he had gone thither. 
So she went out into the garden and finding his sandals lying by 
the fountain, searched the place in every part, but came upon no 
sign of him ; and yet she gave not over the search till morning. 
Then she enquired for the ship and they told her, " The vessel set 
sail in the first watch of the night"; wherefor she knew that 
they had taken As'ad with them, and this was grievous to her 
and she was sore an-angered. She bade equip ten great ships 
forthwith and, making ready for fight, embarked in one of the ten 
with her Mamelukes and slave-women and men-at-arms, all splen- 
didly accoutred and weaponed for war. They spread the sails and 
she said to the captains, " If you overtake the Magian's ship, ye 
shall have of me dresses of honour and largesse of money ; but if 
you fail so to do, I will slay you to the last man." Whereat fear 
and great hope animated the crews and they sailed all that day 
and the night and the second day and the third day till, on the 
fourth they sighted the ship of Bahram, the Magian, and before 

344 A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

evening fell the Queen's squadron had surrounded it on all sides, 
just as Bahram had taken As'ad forth of the chest and was beat- 
ing and torturing him, whilst the Prince cried out for help and 
deliverance, but found neither helper nor deliverer : and the 
grievous bastinado sorely tormented him. Now while so occu- 
pied, Bahram chanced to look up and, seeing himself encompassed 
by the Queen's ships, as the white of the eye encompasseth the 
black, he gave himself up for lost and groaned and said, " Woe to 
thee, O As'ad ! This is all out of thy head." Then taking him 
by the hand he bade his men throw him overboard and cried, " By 
Allah I will slay thee before I die myself!" So they carried him 
along by the hands and feet and cast him into the sea and he 
sank ; but Allah (be He extolled and exalted !) willed that his life 
be saved and that his doom be deferred ; so He caused him to sink 
and rise again and he struck out with his hands and feet, till the 
Almighty gave him relief, and sent him deliverance ; and the waves 
bore him far from the Magian's ship and threw him ashore. He 
landed, scarce crediting his escape, and once more on land he 
doffed his clothes and wrung them and spread them out to dry ; 
whilst he sat naked and weeping over his condition, and bewail* 
ing his calamities and mortal dangers, and captivity and stranger- 
hood. And presently he repeated these two couplets : 

Allah, my patience fails : I have no ward ; o My breast is straitened and 

clean cut my cord ; 
To whom shall wretched slave of case complain, o Save to his Lord ? O thou 

of lords the Lord ! 

Then, having ended his verse, he rose and donned his clothes but 
he knew not whither to go or whence to come ; so he fed on the 
herbs of the earth and the fruits of the trees and he drank of the 
streams, and fared on night and day till he came in sight of a city ; 
\vhereupon he rejoiced and hastened his pace ; but when he reached 

it " And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to 

say her permitted say. 

Nofo fofcm (t foas tje STfoo |^un0retr antr ^fifrtg-sfxtf) Ntpt, 

She said, it hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when he 
reached the city the shades of evening closed around him and the 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman. 345 

gates were shut. Now by the decrees of Fate and man's lot this 
was the very city wherein he had been a prisoner and to whose 
King his brother Amjad was Minister. When As'ad saw the gate 
was locked, he turned back and made for the burial-ground, where 
finding a tomb without a door, he entered therein and lay down 
and fell asleep, with his face covered by his long sleeve. 1 Mean- 
while, Queen Marjanah, coming up with Bahram's ship, questioned 
him of As'ad. Now the Magian, when Queen Marjanah overtook 
him with her ships, baffled her by his artifice and gramarye; swear- 
ing to her that he was not with him and that he knew nothing of 
him. She searched the ship, but found no trace of her friend, so 
she took Bahrain and, carrying him back to her castle, would have 
put him to death, but he ransomed himself from her with all his 
good and his ship ; and she released him and his men. They 
went forth from her hardly believing in their deliverance, and 
fared on ten days' journey till they came to their own city and 
found the gate shut, it being eventide. So they made for the 
burial-ground, thinking to lie the night there and, going round 
about the tombs, as Fate and Fortune would have it, saw the 
building wherein As'ad lay wide open ; whereat Bahram mar- 
velled and said, " I must look into this sepulchre." Then 
he entered and found As'ad lying in a corner fast asleep, with 
his head covered by his sleeve ; so he raised his head, and look- 
ing in his face, knew him for the man on whose account he 
had lost his good and his ship, and cried, " What ! art thou yet 
alive ? " Then he bound him and gagged him without further 
parley, and carried him to his house, where he clapped heavy 
shackles on his feet and lowered him into the underground dun- 
geon aforesaid prepared for the tormenting of Moslems, and he 
bade his daughter by name Bostdn, 2 torture him night and day, 
till the next year, when they would again visit the Mountain of 
Fire and there offer him up as a sacrifice. Then he beat him 
grievously and locking the dungeon door upon him, gave the keys 
to his daughter. By and by, Bostan opened the door and went 

1 As a rule Easterns, I repeat, cover head and face when sleeping especially in the 
open air and moonlight. Europeans find the practice difficult, and can learn it only by 
long habit. 

2 Pers. = a flower-garden. In Galland Bahram has two daughters, Bostama and 
Cavama. In the Bres. Edit, the daughter is "Bostan" and the slave-girl " Kawam." 

346 Alf Laylak wa Laylak. 

down to bear him, but finding him a comely youth and a sweet-faced 
with arched brows and eyes black with nature's Kohl, 1 she fell in 
love with him and asked him, " What is thy name ? " " My name 
is As'ad," answered he ; whereat she cried, " Mayst thou indeed 
be happy as thy name, 2 and happy be thy days ! Thou deservest 
not torture and blows, and I see thou hast been injuriously en- 
treated." And she comforted him with kind words and loosed 
his bonds. Then she questioned him of the religion of Al-Islam 
and he told her that it was the true and right Faith and that our 
lord Mohammed had approved himself by surpassing miracles a 
and signs manifest, and that fire-worship is harmful and not 
profitable ; and he went on to expound to her the tenets of 
Al-Islam till she was persuaded and the love of the True Faith 
entered her heart. Then, as Almighty Allah had mixed up with 
her being a fond affection for As'ad, she pronounced the Two 
Testimonies 4 of the Faith and became of the people of felicity. 
After this, she brought him meat and drink and talked with him 
and they prayed together : moreover, she made him chicken stews 
and fed him therewith, .till he regained strength and his sickness 
left him and he was restored to his former health. Such things 
befel him with the daughter of Bahram, the Magian ; and so it 
happened that one day she left him and stood at the house-door 
when behold, she heard the crier crying aloud and saying, "Whoso 
hath with him a handsome young man, whose favour is thus and 
thus, and bringeth him forth, shall have all he seeketh of money ; 

1 Arab. " Kahil " = eyes which look as if darkened with antimony : hence the name 
of the noble Arab breed of horses " Kuhaylat" (Al-Ajuz, etc.). 

2 " As'ad " = more (or most) fortunate. 

3 This is the vulgar belief, although Mohammed expressly disclaimed the power in 
the Koran (chapt. xiii. 8), "Thou art commissioned to be a preacher only and not a 
worker of miracles." " Signs " (Arab. Ayat) may here also mean verses of the Koran, 
which the Apostle of Allah held to be his standing miracles. He despised the common 
miracula which in the East are of everyday occurrence and are held to be easy for any 
holy man. Hume does not believe in miracles because he never saw one. Had he 
travelled in the East he would have seen (and heard of) so many that his scepticism (more 
likely that testimony should be false than miracles be true) would have been based on a 
firmer foundation. It is one of the marvels of our age that whilst two-thirds of Christen- 
dom (the Catholics and the "Orthodox" Greeks) believe in "miracles" occurring not 
only in ancient but even in our present days, the influential and intelligent third (Pro- 
testant) absolutely " denies the fact." 

4 Arab. " Al-Shahadatani"j testifying the Unity and the Apostleship. 

Tale of Kamar al-Zaman, 347 

but if any have him and deny it, he shall be hanged over his own 
door and his property shall be plundered and his blood go for 
naught." Now As'ad had acquainted Bostan bint Bahram with 
his whole history : so, when she heard the crier, she knew that it 
was he who was sought for and, going down to him, told him the 
news. Then he fared forth and made for the mansion of the 
Wazir, whom, when As'ad saw, he exclaimed, " By Allah, this 
Minister is my brother Amjad ! " Then he went up (and the 
damsel walking behind him) to the Palace, where he again saw 
his brother, and threw himself upon him ; whereupon Amjad 
also knew him and fell upon his neck and they embraced each 
other, whilst the Wazir's Mamelukes dismounted and stood round 
them. They lay awhile insensible and, when they came to them- 
selves, Amjad took his brother and carried him to the Sultan, to 
whom he related the whole story, and the Sultan charged him to 

plunder Bahrain's house. And Shahrazad perceived the dawn 

of day and ceased saying her permitted say. 

Xofo fo&nt it foas tfj* tEfoo ^untoteU an& 

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Sultan 
ordered Amjad to plunder Bahrain's house and to hang its owner. 
So Amjad despatched thither for that purpose a company of men. 
who sacked the house and took Bahram and brought his daughter 
to the Wazir by whom she was received with all honour, for As'ad 
had told his brother the torments he had suffered and the kind- 
ness she had done him. Thereupon Amjad related in his turn 
to As'ad all that had passed between himself and the damsel ; 
and how he had escaped hanging and had become Wazir ; and 
they made moan, each to other, of the anguish they had suffered 
for separation. Then the Sultan summoned Bahram and bade 
strike off his head ; but he said, " O most mighty King, art thpu 
indeed resolved to put me to death ? " Replied the King, " Yes, 
except thou save thyself by becoming a Moslem." Quoth Bah- 
ram, "O King, bear with me a little while!" Then he bowed 
his head groundwards and presently raising it again, made pro- 
fession of The Faith and islamised at the hands of the Sultan. 
They all rejoiced at his conversion and Amjad and As'ad told 
him all that had befallen them, whereat he wondered and said, 

348 A If Laylak wa Laylak. 

" O my lords, make ready for the journey and I will depart with 
you and carry you back to your father's court in a ship." At 
this they rejoiced and wept with sore weeping ; but he said, " O 
my lords, weep not for your departure, for it shall reunite you with 
those you love, even as were Ni'amah and Naomi." " And what 
befel Ni'amah and Naomi ? " asked they. " They tell," replied 
Bahram, " (but Allah alone is All-knowing) the following tale of 



= servile .... 44 
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan (Caliph) . 319 
Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr . . .318 
Abu Kurrat = father of coolness 

(Chameleon) . . . .165 
Abu '1-Hasan (not Husn). . . 162 
Abu M-Hosayn (father of the Fort- 
let) = fox 132 

Abu Sirhan r= father of (going out to 

pray by) morning . . .146 
'Ad (pre-historic Arab tribe) . . 294 
Adultery (son of, to one's own child) 219 
Akh al-Jahalah = brother of igno- 
rance 162 

Al (the article with Proper Names) . 309 
Alak = clotted blood ... 26 
Ali (murder of) .... 319 
Alif (stature like) . . . .236 
Allah (give thee profit) . . .17 
- (unto, we are returning) . . 317 
Allusions (far-fetched, fanciful and 

obscure) . . 58; 169; 176; 263 
Alpinism (unknown) . . , 324 
Amor discende non ascende . . 240 
Amsa =: he passed the evening, etc. 239 
Amtar, pi. of Matr, q.v. . . .295 
Andam=Brazil- wood, dragon's blood 263 
Angels (appearing to Sodomites) . 301 
Ape-names (expressing auspiciousness) 1 59 

Arab (pathos) 55 

(the noble merciful) . . 88 

(shop) 163 

Arak = (tooth-stick of the) wild 
caper-tree ; Araka = I see thee . 275 


Ar'ar = Juniper-tree, "heath . 254 

Ardhanari the half- woman . . 306 

Army (divided into six divisions) 290 

As'ad = more (or most) fortunate . 346 

Asaffrf = sparrow-olives . . 295 

Ass (goad) 116 

(voice " most ungrateful ") . 117 

(the wild, "handy" with his 

hoof) 235 

Ayat = signs, Koranic verses . . 307 
Ayshat al-durrah murrah=the sister- 
wife has a bitter life . . . 308 
Awwa (name of Satan's wife) . * 229 



= white camomile . 
Bachelor not admitted in Arab 


Back-parts compared to revolving 


Badawi (cannot swim) 

(baser sort) .... 

(shifting camp in spring 

(noble) .... 

Baghdad = Garden of Justice . 
Bahadurs the brave . . 
Bahrain (varanes) = planet Mars 
Bakhshish naturalized as Anglo- 
Egyptian 45 

Bakk=bug 328 

Ballur (Billaur) = crystal, etc. . 194 
Banat al-Na'ash = the Great Bear 28 ; 221 
Bands of bandits . . . .101 
Banner (bound to a spear, sign of in- 
vestiture) 307 


A If Laylah wa Laylah. 

Bdrid (cold = silly, contemptible, 
foolish) 7 

Bashik (small sparrow-hawk) , . 61 

Bath (first after sickness) . . .266 

Bdzf (Pers. Baz) = F. peregrinator, 

hawk, falcon . . . .138 

Beard (long, and short wits) . . 247 

(forked, characteristic of a 

Persian) ..... 325 

Beast-stories (oldest matter in The 

Nights) 114 

Beauties of nature provoke hunger in 
Orientals 32 

Bhang (properties of the drug) . .91 

Bilad al-Sudan = Land of the blacks 
(our Soudan) .... 75 

Bilal (benefits), name of Mohammed's 

Muazzin. , . . . .106 

Bint 'arus = daughter of the bride- 
groom (Ichneumon) . . .147 

Birds denote the neighbourhood of a 

village 280 

Bismillah (Bi 'Smi 'llah = in the 
name of God, etc.) . . . 182 

Blaze (see Ghurrah) . . . .. 118 

Boasting of one's tribe (see Renown- 
ing it) 80 

Boston (female Pr. N.) = flower- 
garden 345 

Braying of the ass . . . 117 

Brothers of Purity . . .150 

of ignorance = Ignoramus . 163 
Brotherhood (forms of making) . 151 
Bruising the testicles a feminine mode 

of murdering men 3 
Budur (Badoura) = full moons . 228 
Bukhti (two-humped camel) . . 67 

CALIPHS Tai li 'llah . . 51 ; 307 

Walid (A1-) .... 69 

Mu'atasim bi 'llah . .81 

Wasik (A1-) . . . ib. 

Abd al-Malik bin Marwan . 319 
Ali . ' . . . . ib. 

- Mu'awiyah . . , ib. 
Camels (breeds of) . . . 67; no 

(names) . . . . no 
(haltered, nose-ring used for 

dromedaries) . . .120 

(Mehari, Mabriyah) . . 277 

Camphor (simile for a fair face) . 1 74 

Carat = Kirat .... 239 
Carnelion stone bitten with pearls = 

lips with teeth in sign of anger . 179 

Cat (puss, etc.) .... 149 

Cervantes and Arab Romance . . 66 

Chaff 23 

Chameleon (father of coolness) . 165 

Cheese a styptic .... 3 

Clapping hands to call servants . 173 

Clogs = Kubkab .... 92 

Coition (postures of) 93 

Cold-of-countenance = a fool . . 7 

Cold speech = a silly or abusive tirade #. 
Comrades of the Cave . . .128 

Constipation (La) rend rigoureux . 242 

Copulation (postures of) . . 93 
Cowardice equally divided . .173 

Criss 'cross Row .... 236 

DALHAMAH (Romance ol) . . IIJ 
Dara' (dira ) = habergeon, coat of 

ring-mail, etc. .... 109 

Daughters of Sa'adah = zebras . 65 

of the bier = Ursa major 28 ; 221 

Day of Doom (mutual retaliation) . 128 

(length of) .... 299 

" Death in a crowd as good as a 

feast " (Persian proverb) . . 141 

Divorce (triple) .... 292 
Doors (usually shut with a wooden 

bolt) 19* 

Double entendre .... 234 
Dreams (true at later night) . . 258 
Drinking at dawn .... 20 
their death agony = suffering 

similar pain . . . % '3'5 
Dromedary (see Camel). 

(guided by a nose-ring) 12O 

Dunya (P. N.) = world . . 7 ; 319 
Durrah (vulg. for Zarrat q.v.}. 

EASTERNS sleep with covered heads . 345 

Eating together makes friends . 71 

Egyptian ( = archi-) polissonnerie . 243 

Euphemy . 68 ; 102 ; 209 ; 267 ; 338 

Evacuation (and Constipation) . . 242 
Eve (the true seducer) . . .166 

Eye (darkening from wine or passion) 224 

(orbits slit up and down the 

face of a hideous Jinn) . - 235 


35 1 

Eye (man of the = pupil) 
(white = blind) 


FABLES proper (oldest part of The 

Nights) . . . . .114 
Fairer to-day than fair of yesterday 

in ever increasing in beauty . 331 
Falak, (clearing) = breaking forth of 

light from darkness ... 22 
Falcon (see Hawk, Bazi) . . . 154 
Falling on the back with laughter . 306 
Farting for fear . . . .118 
Fatin =. tempter, seducer . . 82 
Firdausi. the Persian Homer, quoted 83 
Fire and sickness cannot cohabit (see 

Kayy 59 

worshippers slandered . . 326 

First at the feast and last at the fray 81 
Fist (putting into fist =. putting one- 
self at another's mercy) -. . 155 
Flying for delight . . 26 

Foot, smallness of, sign of " blood " 227 
Formula of praise pronounced to 

avert the evil eye ... 224 
Fortune makes kneel her camel by 
some other one = encamps with 
a favourite . . .141 

Foster-brother (dearer than kith and 

kin) ....... 256 

Fox, cunning man (see Wolf) . .132 
Freeing slaves for the benefit of the 

souls of the departed . . 21 1 
Fulan (fulano in Span, and Port.) ==: 

a certain person . . .191 

Futuh == openings, victories, benefit 304 

GAMIN ffaire le) , . . * ib> 
Gates (two to port towns). . .281 
Geography in its bearings on Morality 241 
Geomantic process .... 269 
Gharam (Pr. N.) = eagerness, de- 
sire, love-longing . . .172 
Ghaza (Artemisia-shrub) . . . 220 
Ghost (phantom = Tayf) . , 252 
Ghurrah = blaze on a horse's fore- 
head * 118 

Ghusl al-Sihhah washing of health 266 
Give a man luck and throw him into 

the sea 341 

Goad (of the donkey-boy) . .116 
Gossamer (names for) . . .217 
Grave (levelling slave and sovereign) 323 

HAIR-STRINGS (of black silk) . . 31! 

- ' " (significance of) . . .313 
Hajib = groom, chamberlain , . 233 
Hajin (tall camel) ... .67 
Hamah (soul of a murdered man in 

form of a bird sprung from his 

head) 293 

Hammara-bath a luxury 'as well as a 

necessity 19 

Hands behind the back (posture of 

submission) .... 2l8 
stained in stripes like ring- 
rows of a chain-armour . 1 76 
Hariit and Marut (sorcerer-angels) . 217 
Harwalah rz: pas gymnastique . 121 
Hashshashun = assassins . . 91 
Hashish, see Bhang .... ib. 

orgie in London . . . ib^ 

Hawar = intensity of black and 

white in the eyes . . . 233 
Hawi = juggler playing tricks with 

snakes 14$ 

Hawk, see Bdshik, Bazi . . 61 j 138 

Hayat al-Nufus = Life of Souls . 283 
Hazir and Badi = townsman and 

nomad 234 

Head (must always be kept covered) 275 

Headsman delaying execution . . 42 
Hemistichs divided . . . .166 

Hermaphrodites (Khunsa") . . 306 
Heroine of Eastern Romance eats 

well 168 

Hijl = partridge . . .' .138 

" Him " for " her " ... 78 

Hinges (of ancient doors) . . 41 
Hips, leanness of, " anti-pathetic " to 

Easterns 226 

Hoof (of the wild ass) . 235 

Horripilation cr gooseflesh . . 2 

Horse (names of the) . . 7 2 

. stealing honourable . . 73 
Host (enters first as safe-guard 

against guet-apens) . . . 206 

Houris ...... 233 

Hudhud = hoopoe ... 128 

HUT, see Houris . . . . 233 

Hurr = free, noble, independent 

opp. to 'Abd = servile . . 44- 

iBlfs =: the Despairer . . . 223 

Ibn Abdun al-Andalfei (poet) . . 319 


A If Laylah wa Laylah* 

Ibn Muljam (murderer of the Caliph 
Ali) 319 

Ibn Sina = Avicenna . 34 

Ichneumon (mongoose) . .147 
Iddat months of a woman's en- 
forced celibacy after divorce . 292 
Ikhlas (A1-) = chapter of unity . 307 
Ikhwan al- Safa = Brethren of Purity 1 50 
Ilah al-Arsh = the God of the 

Empyrean 106 

111 is thy abiding place . . 137 
Insane (treatment of the) . . . 256 
Iron padlock (instead of the usual 
wooden bolt) . . . .198 

Irony 291 

Isengrim (wolf) . . . .146 
Ismid =. stibium (eye-powder) , , 307 

JALLAB = slave-dealer . . .340 
Jamal (Gamal) = camel, <?.v. . . 1 10 
Jamlz (Jammayz) m sycamore-fig . 302 
Jannat al-Na'lm = Garden of Delight 19 
Jeweller (in Eastern tales generally 

a rascal). 186 

Jihad = fighting for the faith . . 39 
Jinnis (names of) .... 225 
Joining prayers . . .174 

KAHIL = whose eyes are kohl'd by 

nature 346 

Kahla = nalure-kohl'd . . . 232 
Kama-Shastra (Ars Amoris Indica) . 93 
Kamar al-Zaman (Camaralzaman == 

Moon of the Age) . .213 
Kamarani = the two moons for sun 

and moon . . ^ . .300 
Kamat Alfiyyah = a shape like the 

letter Alif 236 

Kanat = subterranean water-course. 141 
Xanun (dulcimer, " zither ") . .211 
Kapoteshwara and Kapoteshi . . 126 
Kasidah = Ode, elegy . . .262 
Katiil (A1-) = the slayer ... 72 
Kausaj = man with a thin, short 

beard, cunning, tricksy . . 246 
Kaysum = yellow camomile . . 58 
Kayy (A1-) =: cautery, the end of 

medicine-cure * 59 
Kerchief of Dismissal , . + . 295 
KMli'dan (for KHKdat) = f&e 

Cananes * 212 

Khan (caravanserai) and its magju 
. zines .... 14 
Khanjar = dagger, hanger (poi- 
soned) 90 

Khassat-hu = she gelded him . . 47 
Khauf (A1-) niaksum fear (coward- 
ice) is equally apportioned .. 173 
Khayt hamayan = threads of vanity 

(gossamer) 217 

Khaznah = treasury of money 

C5ooo) 278 

Khizab (dye used by women) . * 105 
Khunsa = flexible, flaccid (herma- 
phrodite) 306 

Kiblah = fronting-place of prayer . 
Kissing (like a pigeon feeding its 

young) . * . .275 

Kinchin lay (Arab form of) . . loa 
Kirat (weight = 2-3 grains j length 

= one finger-breadth) . . 239 

Kohl (applying of = takhll) , . 57 

-eyed = Kahla, f. . . 232 

Koka Pandit (Hindu ars Amandi) . 93 
Koran quoted ^x. 10-12 ; Ivi. 24-26 ; 

Ixxxviii. 17-20) . . 19 

(xii. 31 ). . . .21 

(cxiii. l) , . .22 

(ii. 186 ; Ix. 1) . . . 39 

(Ixxvi.) ... 57 

(ii. 23) .... 65 

(xxxi. 18; Ixvii. 7) . . 117 

(ii. 191) .... 123 

(xviii. j xxii. 2O; Ixxxvii.) . 128 

(11.96,256). . . . 217 

(ii.; iii.j xxxvi. ; lv.; Ixvii.; 

cxiii.; cxiv.) . . . 223 

(ii. 32 j xviii. 48) . . . 223 

(xxiii. 20; xcv. l) . .276 

' (xxvi.) . 294 

(xi.) 301 

(xxiii. 38) . . . . 302 

(ii.; Ii. 9; xxxv. II) . . 304 

(cxii.) ... * . 307 

(xxiv. 39 . 319 


Kubkab = bath clogs . . 
Kuhailat (breed of Arab horses) . 
Kun = be, the creative word . . 
Kurds (Xenpphon's and Strabo's 
Carduchi) * . 





LAjuwARD, see Ldzuward . . 33 

Lamiyat poem rhyming in L . 143 
Layali = nights, future, fate . .318 

Layla (female Pr. N.) . 135 

(wa Majnun, love poem) . .183 
Lazuward lapis lazuli, azure . 33 
Letters and letter-writing , . 24 
Libdah (skull-cap of felt) sign of a 

religious mendicant ... 62 
Lisam =1 mouth-veil . . . 283 
Liver (for heart) .... 240 
Lizzajt al-Nisa (erotic poem) . . 93 
Love (pure, becomes prophetical) . 6 
(the ear conceiveth it before the 

eye) 9 

(ten stages of) ... 36 

(martyrs of ) .... 211 

(platonic, see vol. ii. 104) . . 232 

(ousting affection) . . . 240 
Lovers in Laza (hell) as well as 

Na'im (heaven) ... 58 

(parting of, a stock-topic in 
poetry 58 

Lukmn (two of the name) . . 264 

MA'AN BIN ZAIDAH . . . 236 
Mahn'yah (Mehari) r= blood-drome- 
dary 277 

Majlis' =. sitting (to a woman) . * 92 

Majnun (A1-) =. the mad . . 72 

Malik (door-keeper of Hell) . . 20 

Malik (king) taken as title . . 51 

Man (extract of despicable water) . 16 

(is fire, woman tinder) . . 59 
(shown to disadvantage in 

beast-stories) . . . . 115 

(his destiny written on his skull) 123 

(pre-eminence above women) . 332 

Maniyat ~ death ; muhiyat ~ desire 291 

Marba* rz: summer quarters . * 79 

Marjan r= Coral-branch (slave-name) 169 
Marriage (if consummated demands 

Ghusl) 286 

Married men profit nothing . . 2 
Martyrs of love . . . .211 

Marwazi = of Marw (Margiana) . 222 
Marz-ban = Warden of the Marches, 

Margrave . . . . .256 
Ma shaa 'llah (as Allah willeth) = 

well done ! 92 

Matr = large vessel of leather or 

wood ...... 295 


Maurid = desert-well and road to 

such 33 

Mercy (quality of the noble Arab) . 88 
Minaret (simile for a fair young girl) 69 
Miracles (disclaimed by Mohammed 

but generally believed in) . . 346 
Mirage Sarab .... 319 
Mohammed ("born with Kohl'd 

eyes") 232 

Moon masc., Sun fern. ... 28 
Moore (Thomas, anticipated) . . 305 
Morality (geographical and chrono- 
logical) . . , 241 
(want of, excused by pas- 
sion) 269 

Morning-draught .... 

Mountain, coming from the = being 

a clod-hopper .... 

sit upon the = turn anchorite 






Mourning, perfumes not used during . 
Mu'atasim (A1-) bi'llah (Caliph) 
Mu'wiyah (his Moses-like "mild- 
ness") 286 

Muharramat (the three forbidden 

things) 340 

Mujahid (A1-) = fighter in Holy 
War ...... 51 

Mujahidun = who wage war against 

infidels 39 

Mukhammas = cinquains . 280 
Mulberry-fig (for anus) . . . 302 
Murjiyy (sect and tenets) . . 341 

NAFILAH = supererogatory Koran- 

recitation 222 

Na'fm (name for Heaven) . . 19 
Naml (ant) simile for a young beard . 58 
Nazir = eye or steward . . '233 
Night (and day, not day and night 

With the Arabs) . . . .121 

cap 222 

" this " = our "last" . . 249 

for day 318 

Nizami (Persian Poet) . . .183 
Nuptial sheet (inspection of the) . 289 
Nur al-Huda (Pr. N. = Light of 

Guidance) . . *- 17 

O CAMPHOR (antiphrase = O snow- 
ball) 40 

Oftentimes the ear loveth before the 

eye 9 



A If Laylah wa Laylah* 

Oldest matter in The Nights the beast- 
stories 114 

Oubliettes (in old Eastern houses) . 327 
Out of sight of my friend is better, 
and pleasanter . . . . 315 

PARADISE of Mohammed not wholly 

sensual . . . .19 

Parody of the Testification . . 215 
Partridge = Hijl . . . .138 
Pathos (touch of) . .. . -55 
Patience (cutting the cords of) . . 178 
Payne quoted 130; 172; 193; 252; 275 
Penis (as to anus and cunnus) . . 303 
Perfumes not used during mourning . 63 

(natural) . . . .231 

Pigeon (language, etc.) . . .126 

(blood of the young) . . 289 

Pilgrimage quoted (ii. 22) 7 
(iii. 77) .... 65 

(iii. 14) .... 67 

(i. 216) ... .81 

(i. 64) .... 91 

(iii. 185) , . . .107 

. (iii. 270) . . . .118 

(iii. 208) . . . .121 

(iii. 218) . . . .126 

(i. 52) .... 151 

("i. 307) .... l$9 

(i. 99) .... 163 

(iii. 239) .... 174 

(iii. 22) .... 220 

- (ii. 282) .... 241 

(iii. 144) . . . .252 

. (ii. 213, 321} . . .304 

' (iii. 192-194) . , . 319 

(i. 106) .... 324 

Plates as armature . . . .216 
Plural of Majesty . . . 16 

Poke (counterfeit) .... 302 
Polissonnerie (characteristic) . . 243 
Polygamy and Polyandry in relation 

to climate 241 

Postilion (Le) . ... 304 

Postures of coition . . -93 

Prayer (rules for joining in) . .174 

(two-bow) . . . .213 

niche = way-side chapel . 324 

Precedent (merit appertains to) . 264 
Preposterous venery . , . 304 
Preventives (the two) . . . 222 

Prima Venus debet esse cruenta . 289 
Purity of love attains a prophetic 

strain . . , . . 6 

QUESTIONS (indiscreet, the rule 

throughout Arabia) . . .105 

RA'AYA (pi. of Ra'fyat) = Ryot . 21$ 
Rabite classical term for a noble 

Arab horse .... 72 
Rahi'l (small dromedary) ... 67 
Raising the tail sign of excitement in 

the Arab blood-horse ... 84 
Rasy rr: praising in a funeral sermon 291 
Ratanah = a jargon . . . 200 
Raushan in window . . . 171 

Raushana" (splendour) = Roxana . ib. 
Ready to fly for delight ... 26 
" Renowning it" (boasting of one's 

tribe) 80; 108 

Return unto Allah . . . .317 
Rihl = wooden saddle . . .117 
Rind (rand) = willow, bay, aloes, 

wood. . . . .172 

Rizwan (approbation) =: key-keeper 

of Paradise , . . 15, 20 

Rosary 123 

Royalty in the guise of merchants . 1 2 
Rubber, see Shampooer . * 1 7 

Rubhah (townlet on the frontier of 

Syria) 53 

Ryot = liege, subject ; Fellah, peas- 
ant 215 

S A' ADAH (female Pr. N.) . . 65 

Sa'alabah (name of a tribe) . . 107 

Sa'alab = fox 132 

Sabb = low abuse . . . * 31 1 
Sabbah bin Rammah bin Humam = 

the Comely, son of the Spearman, 

son of the Lion .... 67 
Sadr = returning from the water (see 

Warid) 56 

Sady = Hamah, q.v. . . . 293 
Sahirah = place for the gathering of 

souls on Doom-day . . . 323 

Saibah = she-camel freed from labour 78 

Salb =1 crucifying .... 25 

Salsabil (fountains of Paradise) . 57 

Sarab = mirage .... 3 J 9 

Sawwan = Syenite .... 324 
Seal and Sealing-wax . . .189 



Seduction (the truth about it) . .166 
Serpent does not sting or bite, but 

strike 160 

Seven Sleepers . . . .128 
Shahddatani (A1-) = the two Testi- 
monies 34*> 

Shahriman not Shah Zeman . 7 ; 212 
Shai bal- 1 nghdzr= gray beard, shaking 

with disapproval . . . 307 
Shakespearean ' ' topothesia " out- 

Shakespeared . . . .212 
Shakhs = a person, a black spot 26 
Shampooer (rubber) = Mukayyit or 

bagman 17 






Shanak =. hanging .... 
Shanfara (poet) .... 
Shaykhs (five, doubtful allusion) 
Shaytan (Satan) term of abuse 

(his wife and nine sons) 

Shop (Arab, a " but " and a " ben ") 
Shovel-iron stirrup spar 
Signs (of a Shaykh's tent) 
(lucky in a horse) . 
Sinnaur = cat ; prince . 
Siwak = tooth-stick ; Siwa-ka = 
other than thou .... 
Slaves (O Camphor) 

(set free for the benefit of the 

dead) 211 

(dealer in = Jallab) . . 349 

Sleeping (with covered head and face) 345 
Sleepers (the Seven of Ephesus) 128 

Solomon (his carpet) . . . 267 
Sodomites (angels appear to) 301 ; 304 
Sodomy with women . . . ib. 
Son of Persian Kings (not Prince but 

descendant) .... . 163 
Spindle (thinner than a) . . . 260 
St. George (posture) . . . 304 
Stages (ten, of love-sickness) . . 36 
4i Stone-bow " not " Cross-bow " . 116 
Subhana'llah pronounced to keep off 

the evil eye .... 224 
Sudan = our Soudan 75 

Siif (wool), Sufi (Gnostic) . . 140 
Suha (Soha) star in the Ursa Major 28 
Sulayma, dim. of Salm=i any beau- 
tiful woman .... 263 
Superiority of man above woman . 332 
Sutures of the skull . . . 123 
Sycomore fig (for anus) ... 302 

TAGtfT(idol) ..... 217 

Ta'i (A1-) li 'llah (Caliph) . 51, 307 

Takhil = adorning with Kohl . . 57 

Talak bi'1-Salasah = triple divorce . 292 
Tamar al- Hindi (Tamarind) = the 

Indian date . . . . 297 
Tasbih = saying Subhan Allah ; 

Rosary 125 

Tayf = ghost, phantom . . . 252 
Tayrab (A1-) a city . . . .259 

Tears (pouring blood like red wine) . 169 

Ten stages of love-sickness . . 36 

Tent (signs of a Shaykh's) . . 104 
Testicles (beating and bruising of, 

female mode of killing a man) . 3 

Thamud (pre-historic Arab tribe) . 294 

Thorn of lance eye-lash . . 331 

Tin :=: fig, simile fora woman's parts 302 

Tiryak = theriack, treacle (antidote) 65 
Torrens quoted . 218 ; 235 ; 249 ; 289 

Tossing upon coals of fire . . 61 
Tughrai (A1-), poet . . . .143 
Turk (provoked to hunger by beauties 

of nature) 32 

(appears under the Abbasides) 81 

UBI aves ibi angeli .... 280 

Ukhuwan = camomile ... 58 

Urine (pollutes) .... 229 

Urining (wiping after) . . . ib. 

Ushari = camel travelling ten days 67 

WA BA'AD (see Amma ba'ad, vol. ii. 

37) = and afterwards . .181 

Waddle of "Arab ladies" . . 37 

Wady =. valley ; slayer . . . 234 

Waist (slender, hips large) . . 278 
Walahan (Lakab of a poet = The 

distracted) ..... 226 

Walgh = lapping of a dog . . 319 

Walid (A1-) Caliph .... 69 
Walidati =. my mother, speaking to 

one not of the family . . 208 

Warid = resorting to the water . 56 
Wasif = servant ; fern, wasifah = 

concubine . . . -171 

Wasik (A1-), Caliph . 81 

Waters flowing in Heaven . . 65 

Wayl-ak = Woe to thee . . . 82 

Week-days (only two names for) . 249 
Weeping (not for form, and face 

alone) ..... Ji& 


A If Laylah wa Laylah* 

Wives (why four, see Women) . . . 212 

(a man's tillage) . . . 304 

What happened, happened = fortune 

so willed it .... 68 
Wine (a sun with cup-bearer for East 

and the drinker's mouth for West) 263 
Wolf (wicked man) ; fox (cunning 

man) 132 

Women (peculiar waddle) . -37 

(proposing extreme measures) 39 

(are tinder, men fire) . . 59 

(monkish horror of) . .126 

(Laylah, name of) . .135 

(true seducers) . . .166 

(Walidati = my mother) . 208 

(four wives, and why) . .212 

(compared to an inn) . . 216 

(large hips and thighs) . 226 

(small fine foot) . . . 227 

(names of) . . .239; 263 

(more passionate than men) 241 

(head must always be kept 

covered) 275 

(slender-waisted but full of 

hips, etc.) 278 

(Sodomy with) . . . 304 

(all charges laid upon them) . 335 

Words (divided in a couplet) . .166 
Writing without fingers = being un- 
able to answer for what is written 181 

YA Astf LIBDAH = O father of a felt 

calotte 62 

Vd Abu Sumrah = O father of 

brownness .... 40 
Ya fulan = O certain person . .191 
Ya Satir, Ya Sartor = O veiler (of 

sins) 41 

Ya Talji = O snowy one . . 40 

Yaum al-tanddi = Resurrection Day 74 

ZABBAL ;= dung-drawer, etc. . . 51 
Zakar (penis) =. that which betokens 

masculinity .... 3 
Zamiyad = guardian angel of Bihisht, 

see Rizwan . . . 20 ; 233 

Zanab Sirhan (wolfs tail) = early 

dawn 146 

Zarrat (vulg. Durrah) = co-wife, 

sister-wife 308 

Zebra (daughter of Sa'adah, . 65 

Zibl = dung 51 

Zibl Khan = Le Roi Crotte . .